The Christchurch City Council is a member of the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group.
The Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group(external link) is a partnership of local authorities, emergency services, volunteers and other organisations tasked with ensuring the effective delivery of civil defence emergency management in Canterbury.
Initially, an event is handled by a relevant agency, for example Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). If the emergency escalates a range of agencies begin to work together, for example FENZ, NZ Police, St John, Christchurch City Council and the Canterbury CDEM Group.
A state of emergency may be declared in large-scale events. Declaring a state of emergency gives certain powers under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act (2002), such as controlling access to certain areas, and requisitioning goods and services.
Christchurch CDEM may open an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to monitor or coordinate any response to an event. An EOC enables coordination between different agencies involved in the response and recovery.
A Civil Defence Centre (previously known as a Welfare Centre) is a centre for the coordination of community emergency response. It is opened and managed by local CDEM volunteers.