7:15pm — Acting Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced Civil Defence will be overhauled due to the significant confusion and failures this week by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM).
WeatherWatch.co.nz has long been vocal both publicly and privately to the Ministry about their failures around tsunami warnings – and in recent months had stepped up criticism saying we were losing faith in their ability to communicate fast and effectively to the public. This week yet again there were more failures – the kind that can cost lives if people are not warned in time of a potential disaster.
We’re pleased this long-overdue overhaul is going to be taking place – we live in a country that is highly vulnerable to natural disasters and they can occur at midnight in bed or lunchtime at work. An overhaul and rethink in this area will only serve the nation well and help better protect each and every one of us living here.
on 21/11/2016 9:42pm
I live in Thames and the tsunami warning went off at 2am. Many people, including myself did not even hear it. A neighbour alerted some residents by door knocking but many elderly didn’t respond. I was alerted at 4am by my son in Christchurchwho rang to let me know he was OK. We are most definitely not prepared.
Furthermore, the typical response by distict council to have a ‘getaway kit’ and 2-3 days worth of supplies including radio, torch, batteries food,water, shoes etc, does not in my opinion, and experience, take into account the many thousands of people who can barely survive week to week, let alone have surplus supplies and items on hand ‘just in case’.
For an earthquake and tsunami prone nation we are seriously underprepared and have to date been very lucky. I’m afraid it will be back to ‘God help us’ if this ‘luck’ runs out!