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Napier’s new tsunami signs to boost community resilience

tsunami sign aquarium

Three new tsunami information boards have gone up in key locations along Napier’s beachfront to enhance community understanding of the city’s tsunami risk and empower people to take the right actions if a tsunami heads our way. 

The new signs are located by the National Aquarium of New Zealand and the Bike Pump Track on Marine Parade, and on the toilet block wall near the Westshore Surf Life Saving Club. They are the first of a number of tsunami signs planned for installation over the next two years by Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (HBCDEM) and Napier City Council.
HBCDEM Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the new signs will be integral to building community resilience now and into the future.
“It’s a matter of when, not if, a tsunami will impact Napier. Tsunami signage is a low-cost, high-impact public education tool and will play an important part in managing that risk for people who live in and visit our community,” Ian Macdonald said.
“Not only will the tsunami information boards increase awareness of Napier’s tsunami risk, but they will also increase the community’s ability to respond effectively in a tsunami event,” Ian Macdonald said.
As the ambassador of the Safer Napier programme Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise encourages people to plan more than one evacuation route.
“Napier is at high risk of a tsunami and from modelling we expect that some tracks up Napier Hill will become congested especially during work hours,” explains Mayor Wise.
“Being prepared for a tsunami is a key focus for us under the Safer Napier umbrella, so having signs with clear messages in and around our public spaces is an important part of helping our community get ready for an emergency such as a tsunami,” Mayor Wise said.
The tsunami information boards present awareness and action messages about:

  • recognising the natural warning signs and acting quickly – Long or Strong, Get Gone
  • tsunami evacuation zones
  • key survival facts, and
  • a QR code to the HBCDEM website to assist in planning your own evacuation route.

Ian Macdonald says HBCDEM and Napier City Council are working together to identify locations for additional tsunami information boards across Napier, with all tsunami signage planned to be installed by the end of 2023.

“These signs are just the start,” Ian Macdonald said.

“Over the next two years, we will be installing more tsunami information boards along the beachfront and at parks, reserves, and shopping centres. Evacuation route signs will go up on key roads and we will paint blue lines across certain roads to indicate tsunami safe zones in Napier,” Ian Macdonald said.

Ian Macdonald says the signage installation supports HBCDEM’s tsunami education work programme, which also includes annual events like Tsunami Hīkoi, NZ ShakeOut, workshops with priority communities and the development of Community Resilience Plans.

“This also follows the major tsunami awareness campaign we ran last year which involved a bulk mailout to the 20,000-plus Hawke’s Bay properties in the tsunami evacuation zones,” Ian Macdonald said.

“All of this public education work, aligned with our response planning, will strengthen our community resilience and keep us all safer,” Ian Macdonald said.

For information about tsunami and tsunami evacuation zones, visit the HBCDEM website.

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