Waikato assisting Taranaki flood response

24 June 2015, 03:44 PM

Waikato CDEM Staff assit Taranaki flood response

Waikato Civil Defence Group is lending a helping hand to our neighbours in Taranaki Civil Defence, who are very busy helping people who have been affected by the weekend’s flooding.

The Waikato Group Welfare Manager Irving Young, has been working in the Taranaki Emergency Operations Centre for the past few days. Irving is a very experienced Welfare Manager, and also assisted the teams working in Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake.

“The Emergency Operations Centre here is very hectic, especially first thing in the morning” says Irving. “The day starts at 8am, when we prepare the helicopters for their flights that depart at 10am.”

“During the afternoon, we are taking calls from people who need assistance, and organising the activities for the next day.”

Many of the communities that have been affected by the flood are remote, and due to the many road closures, they are unable to get basic supplies. “The helicopters are dropping food, water, medical supplies and clothing to isolated communities. They are also evacuating small children, and assessing the area” says Irving.

“The Taranaki Welfare Coordination Group has been an amazing support to us working in the Emergency Operations Centre. The Coordination group is made up of government agencies, not for profit organisations, and local authorities.”

Irving says that the team in the Emergency Operations Centre, while extremely busy, have maintained a positive and professional approach to responding to the disaster. “They are all highly skilled professional people, who are making good professional decisions.”

Irving will spend another day in the Taranaki Emergency Operations centre, before he returns to the Waikato. “It is good we can help our neighbouring region, and learn lessons that we can take back to use in our own region.”

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.