The Clutha District covers an area of about 6362 square kilometres, mainly in farmland with townships and small communities spread throughout. This means in an emergency Civil Defence staff cannot immediately be at everyone's doorstep. It's therefore vital for all residents to take steps of their own to prepare for an emergency. Our key geographical feature is the Clutha River, which runs through the centre of the district. There are a number of moderate ranges but no alpine areas.
Radio stations are a good way to keep up to date with the latest local information reports and people should listen to them in an emergency. Below is a list of sources of information for Clutha.
Big River Radio (More FM) - 93.7 FM (South Otago from Clinton), 92.9 FM (Balclutha), 107.1 FM (from Lawrence).
Hokonui - 94.8 FM (Southland), 91.3 FM & 88.3 FM (South Otago), 95.2 FM (West Otago).
RNZ National - 101.4 FM / 810 AM.
Clutha District's 24-hour Emergency Contact Number: 0800 801 350
Clutha District Council's main office located at 1 Rosebank Terrace in Balclutha becomes our Emergency Operating Centre in an event. Council service centres throughout the district have the ability to become ward co-ordination centres and other buildings have been identified as potential welfare centres. Residents will be notified on where to go and who to contact in a civil defence event/emergency.
Community Response Plans outline what specific communities should do in a civil defence emergency or what action to take in advance of an emergency to prevent potentially devastating effects.
When an emergency occurs, these plans will be activated by the community. Other agencies will respond to the event by activating their own plans and coordinating their activities to manage the impact on the community.
Community plans are being worked on for various communities in the Clutha District. The full Toko Mouth plan is complete and available for download here. Residents wanting to know more about community plans can contact our Emergency Management Officer on 03 419 0200 or 0800 801 350.
Residents will be informed of relevant assembly points and/or evacuation points during a civil defence event or emergency.
These will depend on which areas/towns (or part of areas/towns) of the district are affected during the event.
If you're interested in offering your services as a civil defence volunteer, there are a number of organisations you can contact.
If you would like to help out in a welfare capacity contact:
The Red Cross: www.redcross.org.nz
The Salvation Army: www.salvationarmy.org.nz/about-us/volunteer-with-us
The Clutha District Council employs an officer within the Regulatory Services Department to organise and co-ordinate our Civil Defence initiatives and to keep our emergency systems up to date and at a high state of readiness.
In a sense, all Clutha residents are part of Civil Defence, because when a serious disaster happens, people in the affected area will probably have to fend for themselves as individuals, as families, as neighbours, and as a community until other help can be provided.
A Civil Defence emergency is only declared when emergency services feel the situation is beyond their resources and a life threatening situation exists. If this happens, the Civil Defence organisation takes over to co-ordinate the response and local Civil Defence centres are activated.
There is no vast full-time Civil Defence force standing by. Council's own staff and other material resources form a basis, and are supported in a Civil Defence emergency by locally available resources of emergency services, government departments, by voluntary organisations in the community, and by individual volunteers.
Your Civil Defence Centre is somewhere you can go to for assistance or to offer your services during a Civil Defence emergency. During an emergency, the location of open centres will be broadcast on your local radio station.
The reality is that in such an event, Civil Defence and emergency staff cannot immediately be at everyone's doorstep and do everything at once. The response is determined by priority; the first of which is always people's safety.
It is therefore vital for all Clutha residents to take steps of your own to help you prepare you and your family for the possibility of a Civil Defence emergency.
Find out more about emergency management in our district by reading Clutha District Civil Defence Emergency Plan 2012-17.
Grab and Go Emergency Kits
In a major emergency, you may need to quickly leave your home, work or vehicle with little or no warning. Clutha District Council Civil Defence has put together a Grab & Go Emergency kit that contains important items if you need to evacuate quickly. These can be puchased online by clicking on the link: http://grabandgo.co.nz/shop/.
However, no emergency kit can give you everything you need (only you know your shoe size, dietary requirements, important medication and documents). This is a handy household emergency checklist.
The Hazard App is a free life-saving app for smartphones and tablets. The app helps you identify, prepare and respond to hazards in New Zealand. The app is pre-loaded with information about hazards including floods, earthquakes, tsunami, fire, weather, epidemics and biosecurity risks. The Hazard App enables you to receive official emergency warnings and alerts according to your location or the locations of your friends and family.
If life or property is at risk - call 111 (fire, police, ambulance)
CLUTHA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Emergency Management Officer
Office phone: 0800 801 350 or 03 419 0200