If a tsunami threatened Napier 10 days from now, or 10 minutes from now, where would you go?
That’s the question being posed by Napier City Council, whose new #napierdrill social media campaign is being shared to encourage Napier residents and businesses to plan, and rehearse, their tsunami evacuation routes.
Council held their first ever tsunami evacuation drill at the end of last month, but not before spending time calculating the quickest routes to safety and sending info and a map out to their Civic Building teams. Although the drill was optional, staff were encouraged to use the time to practice leaving the office calmly and filing along Napier’s streets to the Tiffen Park steps.
Napier Emergency Management Officer Marcus Hayes-Jones stresses that although staff were alerted to the exact timing of their drill by way of a screen flash and siren, if a long or strong earthquake were to occur in Napier, there might not be time to activate any warning systems at all.
“We would be talking a matter of minutes, not hours, until a potential tsunami arrived here. So it is important that Council staff know how to evacuate as quickly as they possibly can and get to higher ground.”
Sawyer Digital helped create the video on drill day, and now it’s being shared on social media channels as a challenge to other residents and businesses.
“We are calling out to our residents, businesses and families to use the #napierdrill hashtag and give us a rundown of their evacuation plan,” says Manager Communications and Marketing Fiona Fraser. “These don’t have to be anything elaborate – they can be as simple as ‘run up Bluff Hill’ or ‘bike to Poraiti.’ Whatever the best route to safety is in the event of a tsunami, we’d like to hear about it and hear how and when you practiced it.”
Ms Fraser says she’s particularly keen to challenge other government bodies and local businesses to the task. “We would like to see our friends at Hawke’s Bay Tourism, NZ Trade and Enterprise and Napier Port, for instance, share their #napierdrill with us. When it comes to emergency planning, knowledge is power – the thought of a tsunami is scary, but it’s definitely not as frightening once you have practiced what you will do if an emergency strikes.”
As part of Napier City Council’s commitment to emergency management, CE Wayne Jack is providing “go-bags” to house at each desk, which staff can fill with supplies such as water, a torch and batteries.
Inundation mapping is available for evacuation planning purposes at: http://www.hbemergency.govt.nz/hazards/tsunami/evacuation-zones
The video can be viewed at www.facebook.com/napiercitycouncil and www.youtube.com/napiercitycouncil
10 November 2016
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