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, find out information, offer assistance to those who need it, and look for assistance.
Community Emergency Hubs (formerly 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 like you in your community, not official staff, when there is 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.
After helping your household and neighbours, you should head to your local Community Emergency Hub to offer what you can.
Community Emergency Hubs are located at local primary schools, community centres, and other community gathering spaces. WREMO has made arrangements with these hosts to allow locals to open up the venue in times of need. If you have a key to the facility, you can help open up.
Community Emergency Hubs are equipped with an operating guide to help describe the most efficient way to run the Hub, a map, a small amount of stationery to assist in coordinating whatever the community feels should be done, and a radio so the community can communicate with the official Emergency Operations Centre. There are no caches of emergency supplies at Community Emergency Hubs.
Community Emergency Hubs are not Emergency Assistance Centres (formerly known as Welfare Centres) where official government support can be accessed.
Through Community Response and Resilience Planning, WREMO works with communities to identify community strengths and resources that could be useful during a disaster, vulnerabilities that the community should check during a disaster or consider mitigating beforehand, and potential solutions to the challenges a community will face during a disaster. These are recorded in a Community Emergency Hub Guide that also outlines how to run the Hub.