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Emergency Management Unit

Our Emergency Management Unit is here for the safety of people, property and the environment.

The aim of our Emergency Management Unit is to provide the safety of people, property and the environment. We do this by identifying significant hazards in the community, determining community vulnerability to these hazards, and building community resilience to recover from significant events. Civil Defence is Council working together with Emergency Services and the community to mobilise the full resources of all to cope with disasters.

Meet our Thames-Coromandel Emergency Management Unit

July 2019 marked a significant change in the structure of our district’s emergency management with the establishment of our own in-house Council Emergency Management Unit. Click here to read more.


Photo: (left to right) The Thames-Coromandel Emergency Management Unit team - Emergency Management Officers Helen Flynn, Pamela Balt and Civil Defence Controller - Garry Towler.

Disconnection of our tsunami sirens 

In September 2021, the tsunami siren paging system in the Thames-Coromandel District will be disconnected. Read more on our website here. 

We have developed an information document explaining why we are disconnecting, when we will be disconnecting and how you can stay informed in an emergency. Download the document here. 

Community Response Plans

Updated February 2021

A huge thank you to all the community response groups around our district for assisting our Emergency Management Unit to create the final and up-to-date Community Response brochures and posters.

Most communities now have a completed response plan which is a guide to assisting response at a local level. These plans include:

  • Information around local hazards
  • what to do
  • alert options
  • where to go to get further information
  • resources available to help
  • who in the community needs assistance
  • who can offer assistance.

Surveys were completed to collect this information which informed each individual plan.

We know that community resilience is our greatest strength and this helps us get through emergency events.

These brochures and posters were created to share with the public to ensure that everyone is informed and ready to look after themselves and each other.  

Know your hazards

Get ready – Be prepared

In New Zealand, emergencies can happen anywhere, any time, and without warning.

The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to make sure you, and the people you care about, are ready to get through. – Check out this handy website with everything you need to get ready - getready.govt.nz or stop into your local council office to pick up resources to help you prepare.

Stay informed

In our district, we’ve got lots of tsunami warning sirens with lots of different tones – so we’re not meeting the new national standards. That’s why we’re using a whole range of tools to make sure people can stay informed.

The national tsunami warning siren (listen to it here) should also have the ability to have verbal warnings broadcast over them - something that can't be done with our current sirens.

“Our siren network is also old, expensive to maintain and ineffective,” says Garry Towler our Civil Defence Controller. “We spend approximately $6k annually maintaining these sirens and the current network of 30 sirens is totally non-compliant, hence the direction we’re now taking.”

That includes promoting central government’s cell phone alerting system, which launched in 2014. The emergency mobile alert service means you can get an alert to your phone without signing up.

Our Council also promotes online tools like the Red Cross Hazard App and emergency twitter, along with other social media channels (see below for the full list).

"Plus, there’s the traditional and very effective old-school ways to get out a warning when technology fails, through community action plans, neighbour support and going door to door,” says Mr Towler. “And of course, heeding the natural signs, long or strong, get gone.” See below for more information on how to stay informed.

Natural warning signs - If you are near a shore and experience any of the following, take action. Do not wait for official warnings.

  • Feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand or a long earthquake that lasts more than a minute
  • See a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • Hear loud or unusual noises from the sea

Official channels

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management  is responsible for issuing civil defence warnings in New Zealand.

Warnings are published on www.civildefence.govt.nz  and Twitter. Warnings will also be broadcast on radio and television. An Emergency Mobile Alert may also be issued if there is a threat to life and property. Emergency Mobile Alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to capable mobile phones. The alerts are designed to keep people safe and are broadcast to all capable phones from targeted cell towers.

Warnings may also be broadcast through siren, phone, mobile text, loud hailer or other local arrangements. Contact your local council to find out about the warnings you can expect to receive in your community. 

Immediately follow the advice of any emergency warning. You may receive warnings from one or several sources. Respond to the first source.  Do not wait for more messages before you act.

  • Weather updates - MetService.
  • State Highways - (SH25, SH25A, SH26 in the Coromandel) NZTA. You can also call NZTA on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) for traffic and travel information. You can also use their journey-planning website www.onthemove.govt.nz to plan the best route for your journey, taking into account known issues and traffic on state highways.
  • Council roads - We will post regular updates on our Council's Facebook page as well as on our website and email newsletters. If you see an issue that needs attention, call us on 07 868 0200.
  • Local radio - Check stations and frequencies here.
  • Red Cross Hazards App - alerts about hazards. Download from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Emergency mobile alert these can be sent to your mobile phone, without needing to download an app or sign up. Check if your phone is capable of receiving them, here
  • Waikato Regional Council has set up an online hub for rainfall and flood-related information to help people more easily keep up to date with severe weather events in the region. It can be found here.
  • Waikato Region Civil Defence Emergency Management – Sign up to receive civil defence and emergency text alerts through this link.
  • Also follow Waikato Civil Defence on Facebook here and check out their website for updates here.
  • Know your neighbours - phone each other in an emergency, especially vulnerable people, to check if they're OK.
  • To report a power outage, contact your provider.

For more on these channels, and other information about staying informed in emergencies, go to the Civil Defence Get Ready website.

Unofficial information:

You may receive warnings from friends, other members of the public, international media and from the internet. Verify the warning only if you can do so quickly. If official warnings are available, trust their message over informal warnings

Other useful sites:

Know your neighbours

When you get to know your neighbours, you’re more likely to look out for each other, especially during and after an emergency, like a storm or a large earthquake.

  • Share contact details so you can get in touch if an emergency occurs.
  • Tell them about your emergency plan and ask about their plans.
  • Find out who can help you and who might need your help.