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Helping East Coast early learning services and schools to get tsunami ready

20 days ago by Kate Boersen


tsunma hikoi

More than 250 early learning services and schools in tsunami evacuation zones along the East Coast are being encouraged to regularly practice tsunami evacuation drills as part of the ‘Tsunami Safer Early Learning Services & Schools’ project recently completed by East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary).

East Coast LAB received funding from the Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management to identify all the schools and early learning services along the North Island's East Coast, and develop resources for Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups to use to support early learning services and schools prepare and respond to earthquake and tsunami events. A team of experts, including emergency managers and researchers helped to create the resources.

The project builds on the work that some Civil Defence Emergency Management groups and schools have already done to help all schools and early learning services in potential tsunami zones be prepared

“Given the level of risk associated with tsunami, it is important that early learning services and schools know how to prepare and respond, especially to natural warning signs, to ensure children and students in their care are protected.” says Kate Boersen, Project Leader, East Coast LAB.

The toolbox focuses on tsunami, a significant hazard for much of New Zealand and covers everything from planning and hazards to evacuations and bringing families back together.

Kate Boersen says the resource will enable Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups to easily provide technical advice to early learning services and schools when they are developing, reviewing or practicing their emergency management plans for tsunami.

“Planning for emergencies is the responsibilities of Board of Trustees and the Early Learning Service Licensees and it is essential these plans are flexible, well known and practiced,” says Kate Boersen.

The one-year project involved the Ministry of Education, Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Manawatu-Wanganui Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Wellington Region Emergency Management Office, GNS Science and Massey University.

The maps and guidance are available on the East Coast LAB website Resources page and will shortly be available on the Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management website.