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Be Prepared

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This page contains information about what to do before, during and after a Civil Defence emergency.
Updated: 23/09/2019 12:33 p.m.

Civil Defence declaration

Should an emergency occur, the Mayor or Regional Chairperson may declare a civil defence emergency. Once a declaration has been made, the Civil Defence Controller and the police have the legal authority to:

  • evacuate buildings and places
  • restrict entry into buildings, including private homes
  • close roads and public places
  • remove vehicles that impede emergency services and civil defence work
  • requisition items that are needed to save lives.

Updates on Facebook

If you use Facebook, you can receive updates and information from Northland Civil Defence via your Facebook wall.

Follow the link below and 'Like' the page.

Northland Civil Defence Facebook page (Opens in a new window)

Emergency management involves everyone

We need to know the hazards that affect us and be prepared for an emergency. There are measures we can all take to reduce the impact of disasters and to be better placed to recover quickly.
For example:

  • secure heavy objects to prevent damage during an earthquake.
  • keep drains and waterways clear to reduce flooding.
  • being careful with how we use our land.

Community Response Plans have been prepared for areas in the district and will be activated by the community in the event of an emergency.

To view the plan for your area, follow the link below.


If your family has to evacuate your home:

  • grab your getaway kit
  • turn off water, electricity and gas supplies
  • lock your home and outer buildings
  • to inform of your situation or to obtain more information, an 0800 number may be set up
  • otherwise contact our Call Centre on 0800 932 463
  • if lives are in danger, call 111 immediately.

Preparing for an emergency

At home

Develop an emergency plan which includes these points:

  • where to shelter in an earthquake, flood or storm
  • who is responsible for checking essential items in your Emergency Survival Kit
  • how to turn off gas, water and electricity at the mains
  • how to maintain contact with each other during an emergency
  • how to contact your local civil defence organisation for assistance during an emergency
  • if possible know the location of your nearest Civil Defence or Community Emergency Centre
  • learn first aid
  • learn how to control small fires and know how to escape from a fire
  • know the local Civil Defence warning system.

For more information, follow the link below to the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

Get Ready Get Thru website. (Opens in a new window).

In your street

  • join or form a neighbourhood support group. You and your neighbours will have skills and resources that can be vital in an emergency. Start discussing today what you can do to assist each other. Contact the Police for advice.
  • become a civil defence volunteer. Ask your local civil defence organisation how you can help.

If you are in your car

If you are in your car or driving when a disaster strikes, you will need to know what to do. Follow these simple steps:

  • if you drive to work, understand that you may be stranded in your vehicle for some time. Flooding, fallen trees or a major traffic accident could make it impossible to proceed
  • store a pair of walking shoes, waterproof jacket, essential medicines, snack food, water and a torch in your car
  • in an earthquake, pull over to the side of the road and stop
  • do not drive in floodwaters.

For up to date roading information follow the link below to the AA website.

AA Roadwatch - Northland  (Opens in a new window)

Your emergency survival kit

  • emergency clothing (wind proof and rain proof)
  • sun hats for hot weather
  • strong shoes for outdoors
  • blankets or sleeping bags
  • food and water - enough for 3 days
  • canned or dried food
  • a can opener
  • a primus or BBQ to cook on
  • bottled water (3 litres per person per day).

Emergency items

  • first aid kit and essential medicines for illness and allergies
  • spare toilet paper and plastic rubbish bags for your emergency toilet
  • special supplies for babies
  • waterproof torches and spare batteries.
  • radio and spare batteries
  • pet supplies.

People with disabilities

Hearing impairment

People with hearing impairment may not be able to listen to radio. Make arrangements to be sure you are informed by somebody.

Sight impairment

People with sight impairment may have extra difficulties if their home is disrupted - perhaps in an earthquake - and may have extra difficulties in an unfamiliar Civil Defence Centre. You should arrange some form of "buddy" system.

Chronic conditions

People with asthma and other respiratory disorders may be especially affected by stress, dust or volcanic ash. Have plenty of medicines and face masks in your Emergency Survival Kit.

Special foods

Be sure to include as much as you can in your Emergency Survival Kit for people with special food needs.

Mobility Aids

People with mobility aids, insist on bringing your aid if you are evacuated. Moving to safety is fine, but you won't want to be helpless when you get there. 

Contact us

Whangarei District Council
Phone: 0800 932 463

Northland Regional Council
Phone: 0800 002 004 



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