Newlands School is a Civil Defence Community Emergency Hub (not a Civil Defence Centre)
Community Emergency Hubs are about the community coming together to do what it can to help each other – people helping people with what they have available.
The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) works with our communities to empower and promote a community-led response to the challenges communities will face during a disaster.
As we saw in Christchurch and other disasters around the world, people want to help those in need. After a significant emergency, such as an earthquake, the community will naturally come together for company, to share their stories about their experience, hand out information, offer assistance to those who need it, and look for assistance.
Community Emergency Hubs (formally known as Civil Defence Centres) are pre-identified places for the community to coordinate their efforts to help each other during and after a disaster. Community Emergency Hubs will be opened by people in their community, not official staff, where there is a need for the community to help itself, such as when there has been widespread infrastructural damage, damage to buildings and roads, or communication networks are down for extended periods. Food and other supplies are not held by a Community Emergency Hub.
To find out more, please review the following two WREMO Documents about Community Emergency Hubs listed below under ‘resources’ (bottom of the page).
Emergency procedures at Newlands School
Our School Emergency Plan made with the support of WREMO can be found listed below under ‘resources’ (bottom of the page).
Further information about our emergency response plans are included in our school policies which can be found at: www.schooldocs.co.nz (search for Newlands School – username: newlandsprimarypassword: harakeke)
In an emergency situation our first priority is the ensuring all students and staff are safe. This may include an evacuation if buildings are damaged. Once this has been done, we will send out a bulk text to all parents/legal guardians with relevant information.
In an emergency situation it is very important that communication lines are kept open. Communications may be limited and if working will be very congested. We ask that parents/legal guardians refrain from calling the school phone number or cell phone. If staff are answering phone calls it may compromise the safety of children by distracting staff who are carrying out essential emergency procedures. If parents/legal guardians have essential information to communicate please do so by text. No attempt to answer phones or check text messages will be made until all children are safe and accounted for.
If it is necessary for children to be collected we will start our reunification process, and parents/legal guardians will be advised of this. Our reunification process is designed to ensure students are collected by approved emergency contacts only, and that students are kept as calm as possible during the entire process. Before parents/legal guardians or nominated emergency contacts are reunited with their child(ren) (and other students they may be collecting), they will be required to sign them out. We will use signs and/or staff members to direct people to the sign-out area. Once this has been completed the child(ren) concerned will be collected by a staff member and reunited with the parent/legal guardian or nominated emergency contact. The sign out area is separate from the area the students will be. In the recent Canterbury earthquakes some students who were still waiting to be collected, became upset and stressed as they heard the stories being reported by other parents who were coming to collect their children from school.
We ask that parents/legal guardians ensure the list of emergency contacts for their child(ren) is up to date. Remember that we cannot let students leave with anyone who is not on their emergency contact list, even if the person is known to the child.
Our school emergency supplies include 2 large water tanks stored in separate locations on school grounds, food and comprehensive first aid kits.
Preparing your family for an emergency
For your own preparation we suggest you visit the Ministry of Civil Defence ‘Get Ready Get Thru’ site. http://getthru.govt.nz/ It is a good idea to plan and discuss with your family what you would do during a significant event and what your reunification plan is.