Community Emergency Hubs
Empowering our community to help itself
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, find out information, offer assistance to those who need it, and look for assistance.
Community Emergency Hubs (formerly known as Civil Defence Centres or CDC) 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, 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 their household and neighbours, people should head to their local Community Emergency Hub to offer what they 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.
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.
WREMO provides free training to the community to help people get prepared for an emergency, and share ideas on how the Community Emergency Hub could run smoothly.
Community Emergency Hubs in the Wellington region
There are a number of Community Emergency Hubs across the region.