Emergency and council services are likely to be overwhelmed during a disaster and may not be able to respond to every issue immediately.
However, for life-threatening situations, still try phoning 111.
Community Emergency Hubs
During disasters, councils and emergency services aren't the only ones responding. Communities have many of the skills and resources needed to solve problems and help each other. Community Emergency Hubs are a way for people to work together to solve problems locally while still coordinating with councils about really big problems.
After a disaster, solve problems close to home first
Your first priority is to do what you can to make you and your households safe. If you can help other households or need help with yours, go out and check with your neighbours.
If there are people In your neighbourhood who are able to help others or need help themselves, check the surrounding streets to see what can be done. Many problems can be solved at this level.
Then go to your local Community Emergency Hub
Hubs are a place for the community to congregate and coordinate their response to assist each other. They are not reliant on the physical building, so if the place where a Hub starts becomes unsuitable, you can always move to a better venue.
- The Hub has a basic start-up kit consisting of an AM/FM radio, maps and a Civil Defence VHF radio that allows communication with the wider official response if phone lines are not working.
- Other community support groups may also self-organise in your area, and the official response may come in, if needed. Work with them to make sure everyone in need is reached, the workload is shared, and the overall response is efficient and coordinated.
- People working at the Hub have no legal powers to take resources from anyone or force anyone to do anything. All laws still apply in an emergency.
Your local Emergency Operations Centre will support your activities
If help is needed within your community that the community can't provide themselves, let the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) know. They may be able to get help from a community near you or from city resources. Likewise, if you have people or resources that could help outside your community, let the EOC know.
If more than one EOC is active, they might need to coordinate with each other. They do this through the Emergency Coordination Centre which connects councils with regional and national resources.