May 10, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Schools and emergency readiness in Bay of Plenty

2 min read

In late 2010 the Bay of Plenty CDEM Group commissioned a research study about emergency management in schools, the results of which are now available online.

The aim of the research was three-fold: to know what children were learning about emergency management; to know how prepared local schools are to cope in the event of an emergency; and to know whether integrated planning with parents and the broader community was being undertaken.

Fifty eight of the 137 primary and intermediate schools in the Bay of Plenty region participated in the research project which found that emergency management is incorporated into education in almost 90 percent of schools. Bay of Plentys Group Emergency Management Team Leader, Clinton Naude said it was encouraging to know that most local schools were proactive about emergency management education.

Creating awareness of the need to be emergency-ready is a priority for us, so the work that schools are doing with the students will help us to ensure that families know what to do if the worst occurs, Mr Naude said.

All the schools involved practise fire drills and discuss emergency procedures regularly with the students, which is a terrific result. Of those schools incorporating emergency management into their courses, fire and earthquake were the most common, followed by pandemic and tsunami.

Lack of time and resources were cited as the most common reason for not including emergency management in the curriculum. Mr Naude said the research showed that the internet was the primary source of resources for schools in the Bay of Plenty, and that 90 percent of schools have a copy ofWhats The Plan, Stan?

Some schools cited the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group as a resource they draw on, as well as the local emergency services. We now know we have a bit of work to do there to ensure our schools are getting the right information and support from the most appropriate sources, he said.

The research highlighted that schools are not adequately prepared for an emergency, and that there was insufficient links between what was being taught in school, and what was filtering through to the broader community.

The real issue for us now, is that many of the schools involved believe they are prepared for an emergency but in fact they are not. Inadequate food and water provisions, and lack of communication with parents about the care of the children in an emergency are two areas of concern, he said.

The Bay of Plenty Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group will now use this information to help local schools and communities raise awareness of emergency preparedness.

To download a copy of theEmergency Management in Schoolsresearch report, please visit

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