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Helping Others

Whether you are interested in becoming a Civil Defence volunteer, or offer support and assistance within your local community, you can play a vital role in the community in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency.

Community-led response

A community-led response is any activity run by members of the community, to offer support and assistance to people affected by an emergency. A community-led response does not fall under the direction of Civil Defence but may be supported by or operate alongside a Civil Defence response.

What might people need?

  • information
  • food, water, shelter
  • emotional support
  • checking on vulnerable people
  • working bees

Talk to us

We encourage you to let us know what is happening so we can support you if needed. Contact information during an emergency will be on the homepage of this website.

How we can help

To help you look after people Civil Defence may:

  • organise resource delivery 
  • authorise spending and reimburse individuals afterwards
  • arrange a supply and credit line and pay the retailer afterwards

If you make any approved purchases, you'll need receipts to request reimbursement. Unless approved by Civil Defence, any costs incurred remain with individuals.

Work and Income may also be able to help with costs in an emergency. There is a set daily rate for the recovery costs that may be available for those hosting evacuees, payment for food, clothing, and bedding costs may be available, and people may be able to claim for loss of income.

Health and safety

Everybody is responsible for health and safety. However, legally, a community-led response can be comparable to an organisation working for a community purpose that has no employees and is considered a volunteer association. Therefore if this criteria is met, there is no duty, responsibility or liability under the Health and Safety in the Workplace Act (2015).

Trained volunteering

Hawke’s Bay Emergency Response Team

The Hawke's Bay Emergency Response Team is a small group of specialist volunteers who take part in fortnightly or monthly training on Tuesday nights in Hastings. 

There are currently a number of opportunities to join the team in our Rapid Response, Welfare Response and Communications Response groups.

Becoming a specialist Civil Defence volunteer will allow you to gain new skills, develop relationships, and give back to the wider Hawke's Bay community during an emergency. 

Rapid Response Group – this group has a physical component and specialises in supporting emergency services, including ground-based rescue, flood and storm response, and rapid reconnaissance of damage during an emergency.

Welfare Response Group – this group specialises in establishing and running Civil Defence Centres, providing psychological first aid to people affected by an emergency, and ‘door knocking’ to conduct welfare checks.

Communications Response Group – this group supports the emergency response by establishing communication methods when normal day-to-day communication channels aren’t working. This includes setting up radio and satellite networks.

Is specialised volunteering right for you? If you are committed, have a mobile phone, and want to make a difference, fill in our Registration of Interest form and we'll contact you. 

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Emergency Management to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Emergency Management shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Emergency Management cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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