Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Storing water - now would be a good time

The water that comes from your tap in Porirua has a remarkably long journey. It comes all the way from the Stuart Macaskill storage lakes at Te Marua, north of Upper Hutt, where the water was collected from the river. It's treated to make it clean and safe, and then heads down the valley (across the Wellington Fault in a couple of places) to a pumping station at Haywards, where it is pushed up and over the hill to flow on down to Porirua's reservoirs.

Currently, one of those storage lakes is completely empty. Greater Wellington is upgrading the sourthern lake this summer, to improve its strength in an earthquake, and also increase its capacity. The northern lake will be emptied and upgraded next summer. But in the meantime, it means that we have half the water stored in the system than we usually have.

This is likely to mean water restrictions as summer progresses, but it also means that now is a very good time to have more water stored in your own home for a unfortunate day when nothing comes out of the tap.

The warmer weather means that you'll probably be having lots of cold refreshing drinks - the kind that come in nice 1.5 or 3 litre clear plastic bottles - perfect for storing water! Instead of chucking the empty bottle in the recycling bin, clean it out, fill it to the top from the cold tap until it overflows, pop the lid on, and put it somewhere cool and dark out of your way. Tada! You've got some more water stored!

If the only refreshing drinks you have come in cans, glass, or milk bottles, then you can always buy some of our 10L water containers to store water in. They are just $5 each from the council office in Cobham Court.

$5 10L water containers from the council office

Monday, November 28, 2011

New interactive tsunami evacuation zone map

Our website and GIS team have produced this handy new interactive Google map of Porirua's tsunami zones.

Just type in your address to see if your home or business is in an evacuation zone, or have a nosey around the map.

I think it's rather nifty, but it is still a prototype, so if you have any comments about things we could do to improve it, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!

Severe gales today

There's a Severe Weather Warning in place for severe gales until 6pm tonight. Northwesterly winds have already been recorded gusting to 122kph in Kelburn - that's hurricane force! - and the Fire Service has been dealing with storm damage all over the region.

Winds of that strength can damage trees and powerlines (and lift roofs, blow in windows, and blow away signage) and make driving hazardous, especially for motorcycles and high-sided vehicles.

Secure loose items around your home, such as garden furniture, trampolines, rubbish bins etc, and take care out there!

Thumbs up to Rangikura School

Oops, forgot to publish this last Monday!

The Emergency Management Office team spent last Friday (18 November) working with the Year 7 & 8(?) kids at Rangikura School.

They were divided into three groups, one for each part of the day, and then each of those groups was divided into three teams of about ten students each. Each team went to a different area to learn about something new for half and hour before moving to the next area. The teams learned about:

  • Storing water for emergencies - how much you need, where you could find water, and how the 25,000L rainwater collection tank at their school works, and how to make the water safe for drinking.

  • Sanitation - how to make an emergency toilet, and keep clean and healthy during an emergency, and also a bit of basic first aid.

  • Making emergency shelters - given a large plastic tarp & some ropes, what kinds of shelters could you make? Floors, walls, sun shades, roof repairs, tents, privacy areas - they were quite creative!

The weather was great (if a little windy), then "nek minnit" a random hail storm came through to give the kids an idea of just how quickly the weather could turn. It certainly gave them a bit of urgency for getting their shelter up!

The kids were awesome, and apparently didn't stop talking about it for quite some time!

If you are interested in having the Emergency Management team come to talk to your school, please get in touch.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can Porirua have one too?

We could do with one of these here in Porirua!

More windy weather on the way

Yesterday saw winds gusting to 150kph in Kelburn, with the Fire Service dealing to various weather-related incidents around the region.

While today was a bit calmer, the forecasts don't bode well for tomorrow

The MetService has issued a Severe Weather Watch for possible severe gale norwesterly winds from around lunchtime tomorrow, which should ease late Wednesday evening.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Alert # 2 Exercise Paciic Wave

Is your facility or group located within the tsunami evacuation zone? If you don't know, go to If you are in an evacuation zone and there was a real tsunami warning today, would you be able to evacuate everyone safely? On foot? Or would you need extra assistance? Have you made arrangements for that extra assistance? If you would like further information, please contact the Porirua Emergency Management Office at next week (from 14 November) and we will see what we can do to help.

Exercise "Pacific Wave" - Exercise terminated.

Exercise "Pacific Wave" - Exercise terminated. Thank you for your cooperation.

Exercise Pacific Wave - EXERCISE ONLY


This exercise has started and the emergency management in full swing.
A State of Local Emergency has been declared and we have police, fire service and coastguard present.
The earthquake scenario was a magnitude 9 off Vanuatu. It has generated a wave that is expected to hit Porirua's shores at 16.24pm and be between 1-3 metres high.
All coastal communities have been evacuated.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Exercise Pacific Wave - Thursday 10 November

We're taking part in Exercise Pacific Wave tomorrow, but even we don't know what time the tsunami exercise starts!

You may see or hear a test of our vehicle-mounted PA system - especially around Titahi Bay Intermediate and St Theresa's Schools.

If you are signed up to our Emergency Text Alerts, you should receive a test message, and those groups and businesses that are part of Readynet should also receive test alerts.

In the unlikely event of a real tsunami warning tomorrow, we'll say NO DUFF which means it's all for real. Don't ask me why we use that phrase - I reckon it's because we aren't allowed to use a different four letter word...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shaken up & blown around

I managed to miss yesterday's couple of shakes just off the Blenheim coast, I probably thought it was just the wind.

The following earthquake has been recorded by GNS:

Reference number: 3603873/G
Universal Time: 2011/11/01 22:41:59
Local time (NZDT): 11:41 AM on Wednesday 02 November 2011
Latitude, Longitude: 41.63S, 174.28E
NZ Map Grid (E, N): 2617000, 5953000
NZ Trans Merc (E, N): 1707000, 5391000
Location: 30 km south-east of Blenheim
Focal depth: 15
Magnitude: 4.9

Web page:
Web service:

and it was followed a bit over an hour later by a second smaller quake:

The following earthquake has been recorded by GNS:

Reference number: 3603917/G
Universal Time: 2011/11/02 00:28:38
Local time (NZDT): 01:28 PM on Wednesday 02 November 2011
Latitude, Longitude: 41.63S, 174.28E
NZ Map Grid (E, N): 2617000, 5953000
NZ Trans Merc (E, N): 1707000, 5391000
Location: 30 km south-east of Blenheim
Focal depth: 15
Magnitude: 3.9

Web page:
Web service:

Don't forget to fill in the Felt Quake report if you did manage to tell the shaking of the earth from the shaking of the wind.