Media release

New website go-to tool for emergency planning in Otago

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Emergency Management Otago today launched a new website to help residents prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Civil Defence Regional Manager and Group Controller Chris Hawker described the website ( as a ‘go to tool’ for helping individuals, schools, businesses, and communities take the necessary steps towards getting ready for an emergency.

“Events in Christchurch, the recent high-magnitude earthquake in the Bay of Plenty and subsequent tsunami warning, reinforce what’s ‘never going to happen’ can and will happen, and we all need to be prepared,” Mr Hawker said.

The new website provides straightforward suggestions to help people prepare for any natural hazard event.

“Many people are overwhelmed by too much information when it comes to planning for an emergency.

With this website we wanted to break down those barriers and let people know the key steps they need to take to be well on their way to preparedness,” Mr Hawker said.

Emergency Management Otago’s CDEM group is coordinated by Otago Regional Council in partnership with all district and city councils in the region. District-specific information – including about community response plans, contact details for local emergency management staff, and similar information about local radio stations and welfare centres – is on the new website.

Mr Hawker recommends people bookmark the site, which will also provide critical alerts and information when an event is developing or when one occurs, as along with broadcasts by local radio stations, it will be a critical resource in an emergency.

“The new website embodies the national approach that civil defence emergency management is most effective when it’s embedded at a community level. This means communities working and planning together to help each other, whether that involves families, friends, or neighbours.”

“We’re excited by the fact that this website is another step towards a higher level of engagement and collaboration between CDEM agencies across the whole Otago region and our communities,” Mr Hawker said.

“It’s reflected in the fact that we now have one centralised website made up of key information, which includes detailed information for each district, and which is managed by the local council instead of multiple different sites as it was in the past.”

For more information please contact

Chris Hawker
Regional manager/group controller
Emergency Management Otago
Ph (03) 4707400 or 027 522 8916