Friday, March 4, 2011

A new builidng would be nice!

"The people in charge of organising the response to a civil emergency in Porirua are based in buildings that might not be useable after an earthquake. "

It's true, we don't have a purpose-built building designed to withstand an earthquake like the one that struck Christchurch (mind you, a peak ground accelleration of 2.2 times gravity is more than even the current building code allows for). We can dream of working out of an indestructable building, but the ratepayers have to indicate that this is important enough that they are willing to bear the cost.

The fact that our building may be unusable is one of the reasons why we have a completely portable system - we can work out of a marquee in the middle of a paddock if we have to.

All of our two-way radios come in robust suitcases and each run from a charged battery that will last for up to 24 hours, or they can be plugged into a generators, or run off a car battery, or use the 9V plug in the car.

Our laptops are also stored in similar suitcases, so we can pull then from the rubble if we have to, they will run off their batteries until we get the generator going. Staff can also bring in their own laptops and connect if required.

The new Emergency Management Information System runs over the internet, so when we lose access to land-based broadband we can either switch to mobile broadband, or plug in our satellite unit, which also gives us phone capability through Voice Over IP (VOIP).

And of course if all technology fails, paper & pencils will still get the job done!

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