Safer Communities Together: A Guide to Crime Prevention – New Zealand Police

Emergencies and disasters
When disaster strikes, community support groups become instant self-help groups. The network is already organised. The members know each other.
It’s natural – if your neighbour is burgled, you help. And if an earthquake destroys your neighbour’s home, you help. The disaster may be larger but the philosophy is the same.
Community support groups are a useful resource in emergencies like cyclones, earthquakes and floods.
After a cyclone or an earthquake, the community support groups can:
· care for children whose parents can’t get home
· organise volunteers to repair houses
· help to clear blocked roads
The civil defence role of community support groups:
In any disaster, Civil Defence appreciates the help of community support groups. Groups can be trained to deal with emergencies. They should encourage every household to have a first aid kit and supplies of food and water for about three days.
Group members need to know:
· the other members’ skills, routines and workplaces
· the people with medical or physical problems, and how to care for them
· their Street Co-ordinators and Group Co-ordinators
· where the nearest Civil Defence Centre is (often a primary school)
Learn first aid. Arrange for a qualified trainer to teach your neighbourhood support group First Aid.

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