Would you have been ready for a tsunami?

Source(s)
Newsroom

By Carol Mutch

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It must have been frightening and confusing for those who left their homes that morning - and the day continued with further tsunami warnings from the Kermadec quakes. Yet, despite criticism that some tsunami sirens did not work or phone messages arrived too late, the overall response was calm and sensible.

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I have been researching disaster response and recovery for the last decade, both in New Zealand and around the Asia-Pacific. One of the big lessons from disaster research is that you never know when the next crisis is coming but it is coming – something we are still learning first-hand from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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My first point is that it appears there is still some confusion around the role of Civil Defence. In my research on the Canterbury earthquakes, I heard stories of people remaining in their homes, waiting for Civil Defence to "come and rescue them" as if it was a sleeping army that could be awoken at short notice.

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It is important for communities, therefore, to realise they are part of local civil defence. It helps to be aware of local hazards and risks, and to plan, prepare and practise for possible emergencies.

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