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. The New Zealand integrated approach to civil defence emergency management can be described by the four areas of activity, known as the ‘4Rs(external link)’.

What we do in an emergency

Initially, an event is handled by a relevant agency, for example the Fire Service. If an emergency escalates a range of agencies begin to work together. The agencies involved depends on the event, but usually include the  Fire Service, NZ Police, St. John Ambulance, Christchurch City Council and the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group(external link).

Emergency Operations Centre

Christchurch Civil Defence Emergency Management may open an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to monitor a developing event (e.g. snowstorm) or to coordinate the response to an event.

The EOC provides coordination between agencies, emergency management during the event, and during the response and recovery.

A state of emergency may be declared in large-scale events where a relevant agency is unable to cope and when powers of the CDEM Act (2002)(external link) are needed.

Civil Defence Centres

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 Civil Defence Emergency Management volunteers.

If needed during an emergency, our volunteers will open a Civil Defence Centre at a safe facility in Christchurch or Banks Peninsula, depending on the size and scale of the event. In outer areas such as Governor’s Bay, Little River, Akaroa and other remote parts of Banks Peninsula, the centre may be located at a local community centre, hall or school.

Volunteers at a Civil Defence Centre collect information about the impact of an emergency in a particular area and report this information to the Emergency Operations Centre. You can go to the Civil Defence Centre if you need to leave your home, require any assistance or would like to get information about the event.