Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where to from here?

On 2 July 2012, we launched the new Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO - the W is silent like in write).  Our continuing mission is to seek out new life and new civilisations... wait... that's the Enterprise...  WREMO's role is to manage Emergency Management services in support of the nine City, District, and Regional Councils of the Wellington region.  A bigger team with bigger impact.

This is pretty cool really, since disasters tend not to stop at the district boundary, and so much of our population lives in one part of the region and works in another. A shared approach gives us the ability to share our resources for the best effect, and get a much bigger bang for our buck.  What had been a somewhat piecemeal approach, now has the ability to put 20 staff to a particular project (instead of two), as well as helping to ensure that things are done more consistently across the region. 

Our new "homes" are in the earthquake-resistant Emergency Management building in Turnbull Street, Thorndon, Wellington, and another purpose built facility in Laings Road, Hutt City.  But staff continue to work throughout the region, operating from Emergency Management Offices at Porirua, Kapiti, and Masterton.

We're divided up into 3 business units:
 - Business & Development - they take care of the administrative, legislative and policy stuff.
 - Operations - they make sure that our Emergency Operations Centres will function during events, our standard operating procedures are all consistent, etc - making sure that we have response capability.
 - And then there's the biggest and most important team - Community Resilience.  99% of the time, we are not responding to an emergency, so it makes sense that most of our work is actually about building community resilience and capability now, so that when an event does happen, it's less likely to exceed the community's ability to cope - prevention and mitigation now, rather than being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.
- There are also Area Coordinators looking after Porirua/Kapiti & Wairarapa.

So what does this all mean for Porirua EMO?

I now commute to Wellington everyday, so I guess I can't call myself the Porirua EMO anymore!
There is still a branch office in Porirua - you may want to ring ahead (237-5089) to check if anyone is in before knocking on the door.  Trevor Farmer, the area coordinator, will be splitting his time between the Kapiti & Porirua offices.

And what about the blog?   We've had a look at our social media, and done some consolidation.  I know that this blog usually ranks higher in Google searches for "Porirua emergency" than Porirua City Council's own website does, even though you should always be looking for official information from the official source - eg the council. Since I'm no longer part of Porirua City Council, this blog will no longer be a source for information during an activation - I'm likely to be too busy to update it  as I have a role managing the Porirua EOC during an activation, and once the PCC document management team have done their magic of downloading all the posts (since this was kind of an unofficial PCC site that needs to be retrievable for OIA requests), I'll steal back all the access, and it'll be mine, all mine again!  I'll try to keep posting emergency management stuff periodically, but it'll be on my own time.

To make it easier for our Public Information Management team during an event, I've also closed down the Porirua Emergency Management Facebook page.  Emergency information for Porirua will instead appear on the Porirua City Council Facebook page -!/pages/Porirua-City-Council/304937590918, and the front page of, as well as the Emergency Status page -  Same should probably happen for the other councils. Regional information can be found on the WREMO Facebook page - we hijacked WEMO's -  You'll find me there!

Kerry - no longer the Porirua EMO.

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