Paying Tribute to our Civil Defence
Cyclone Pam left behind a trail of destruction for our Pacific Island neighbours as it took aim at our northern and east coasts.
While we watched the wind pick up and the rain start to fall on Monday, our Civil Defence teams were bracing themselves for severe weather. Civil Defence organise the prevention and response effort in the face of civil emergencies, providing advice, emergency shelter, supplies, and assistance to clear important road networks.
We were spared much of the intensity of Cyclone Pam. However, I am grateful for the preparedness of our Civil Defence to act on our behalf. This cyclone serves as a timely reminder to be prepared ourselves – keeping extra food and water, first aid kits, blankets, torches and a radio.
Our Pacific neighbours have been hit particularly hard. Vanuatu has been devastated. In these vital early days New Zealand has provided $2.3 million in relief aid and the NZ Defence Force will transport a reconnaissance team, health and logistics personnel, plus Red Cross and NGO personnel. Send them your support, thoughts and prayers as they go about reassembling their lives in this difficult time.