Milford evacuation plan in place

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Published: 26 Aug 2019

A Community Evacuation Plan for the Milford Lagoon has been developed to help ensure community safety in an emergency.

The evacuation plan has been developed by Timaru District Council Civil Defence in collaboration with the Milford Lagoon Community Evacuation Committee.

Council Emergency Management Advisor Lamorna Cooper says that the plan highlights the major hazards that could affect the community, and offers a clear process to safely evacuate all local residents in the event of an emergency.

“The Milford Lagoon Community is geographically isolated and is at risk from several natural hazards such as flooding, tsunami, cyclones and forest fires,” she said.

“It is critically important for everyone in the community to be aware of what to do in the event of an emergency as there may not be time to send in emergency service personnel to evacuate them.

“The project kicked off with a public meeting in October last year, where we provided information about the natural risks to which the community is subject, and the importance of having an agreed community-led first response.

“We have a standard evacuation template which we were able provide the community, which was tailored over a series of meetings with the Milford Lagoon Community Evacuation Committee.

“The committee was formed with local residents and was responsible for developing the evacuation plan, updating the contact information and making any changes necessary as a result of feedback from the community or following an event.

“In addition to this, a radio base station and a set of civil defence handset radios have been provided to the committee, and we have had training sessions about how to use these facilities in an emergency.”

The evacuation plan is now in place and will be posted or hand delivered by the Milford Lagoon Community Evacuation Committee to each household of the community by the end of August.

Each package includes letter-drops, a laminated evacuation plan that can be put on the wall, a fridge magnet and a green flag which people can put on their fences or letterboxes to let others know they have evacuated.

“With sufficient community support a plan can make a real difference in reducing risks to the community, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been actively and voluntarily been part of the process,” said Lamorna.

Last updated: 06 Nov 2019