Emergency Preparedness

This is our School Emergency Plan made with the support of WREMO.  This plan is reviewed and updated at the beginning of each year.

Redwood School is a Community Emergency Hub

Community Emergency Hubs are about the community coming together to do what it can to help each other - people helping people with what they have available.

The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) works with our communities to empower and promote a community-led response to the challenges communities will face during a disaster.  After a significant disaster, such as an earthquake, the community will naturally come together for company, to share their stories about their experience, to provide information, offer assistance to those who need it, and to look for assistance.

Community Emergency Hubs (formally known as Civil Defence Centres) are pre-identified places where the community can coordinate their efforts to help each other during and after a disaster. Community Emergency Hubs will be opened by people in their community, not official WREMO staff, when there is need for the community to help itself, such as when there has been widespread infrastructural damage, damage to buildings and roads, or communication networks are down for extended periods.

To find out more please refer to the two WREMO Documents:

For your own preparation the Civil Defence Get Ready, Get Thru website has lots of useful information.  It is important that families plan and discuss how they will respond during, or immediately after a significant event such as a major earthquake or storm, and what your reunification plan is.  This is especially vital if family members are spread widely across the Wellington region.  For your children here at school, please reassure them that if they did have to remain at school while waiting for family members to collect them, there will be lots of staff to look after them.  

Some questions you may have:

What happens during and after an earthquake?

In the event of an earthquake we follow our normal procedures which very briefly includes;  ‘drop, cover and hold’ until the shaking has stopped.  At this time we would then follow our emergency plan, likely evacuating to our designated areas if buildings were unsafe.  

What emergency supplies does the school have onsite?

After seeking advice from WREMO the only emergency supplies held onsite include the large water container next to the school hall and a small container supplied by WREMO with some essential items such as a radio.  We do not hold emergency food onsite.  After a significant emergency if food and other items such as blankets were required this would be sourced locally.  Each class has an emergency Blue Bag, this contains basic items including lollies to help calm students.  

Reunification Drill - this is the process we follow when we run a reunification drill.

An emergency drill is signalled.

Students and staff to follow emergency drill procedures.

Once all students are accounted for they then assemble in the hall where they sit in family groups, by their surnames.

At this point parents and caregivers are sent a text message to advise that reunification is required.  Just the first mobile number as given by each family will receive the text.  

Our reunification processes then apply - refer to our School Emergency Plan for an outline.

3.00pm - any child not collected will be dismissed as if it were a normal day.

In the event of a reunification, if we have multiple people on our list for collecting our kids, how do we know who has them and where they have been taken?

If your child is collected by one of the contacts on your reunification list, we record who has taken your child/children, the time they were collected and where they intended going to once leaving school.

When should we collect other people's kids if we cannot make contact with parents (ie telco/internet overload)

We would need to make this call on the day. Variables such as time of day, weather and emotional state of children would inform our thinking.  We would keep children at school for as long as reasonable to give parents time to collect.  If you can’t get hold of the parents of the children you have been asked to collect in an emergency, we recommend coming to the school to see if children need to be (or have already been) collected or not

In a major disaster what would happen to kids who had not been picked up?

If we had children left at school late in the day/evening we would make a decision based on ensuring the wellbeing of the children.  The decision to ‘billet’ students with local trusted families may be made.  In the event of this occurring we would record who has taken students into their homes, and make every practical endeavour to advise families of this arrangement.

What happens if our school buildings are significantly damaged and are unsafe?

Our alternative evacuation site is on to Redwood Park.  If you arrive at school to collect children, and the school is empty, or there is a sign that we have evacuated, check at Redwood Park.