4 months ago by Natasha Goldring and Kate Boersen
Parents, teachers and students of early learning services and schools located in tsunami evacuation zones across the North Island’s East Coast are being encouraged to learn what their emergency plan is, as they start back at school next week.
Hundreds of early learning services and schools are located in tsunami evacuation zones across Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatū-Whanganui and Wellington and it is important to ensure that their emergency plans are well-known, up-to-date and practised.
“A large earthquake and tsunami could happen at any time and the Japan 2011 earthquake and tsunami showed how important it is to know where to go and what to do” says East Coast Life at the Boundary Project Leader, Kate Boersen.
“This is the message behind the latest video we have produced, which highlights how essential it is that parents and caregivers know and trust their children will be safe and cared for by their school or early learning service. We encourage parents to ask their school ‘What’s the plan?’ so everyone is prepared.”
"We know that practising your tsunami hīkoi works. It helped save the lives of more than 95% of people who safely evacuated, after they felt a long or strong earthquake in the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.”
Early learning services and schools should treat their emergency management plans like a working document and update them through the year. A guide called ‘Working towards tsunami safer early learning services and schools’ is available specifically to support to early learning services and schools to become tsunami safer.
Early learning services and school are encouraged to practice their tsunami evacuation plan during Tsunami Hīkoi week which runs from the 9-15 March this year.
Tsunami hīkoi week encourages schools, businesses and those who live, work or play in a tsunami evacuation to practise their evacuation route to high ground or inland by foot or bike.