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Auckland considered world leader for emergency plan

Author
Alicia Burrow,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 2 February 2016, 1:57PM
(Supplied)
(Supplied)

Auckland has a stand-out civil emergency plan that other global cities should learn from.

That's an American academic's findings after surveying 100 English-speaking cities around the globe on how realistic their planning is in the event of a civil emergency – and Auckland came out on top.

University of Toronto Crises Management Researcher Dr Allan Bonner said many cities have 'fantasy expectations' and unrealistic visions of the future documented should a disaster occur and it's becoming an increasing concern in academia.

But Dr Bonner said Auckland Council has a good grasp on how prepared residents are for an emergency because of how detailed emergency actions plans are for citizens.

For example, he said while only seven percent of Aucklanders have a 'go bag' ready for an emergency, at least the council knows how low that figure is.

He said many American cities have an 'assumptions' section in planning documents that include such guess-work as expecting people to vacate town quickly with their own vehicle. However, up to 56 percent of American urbanites do not own a car and use other forms of transport - faults that can make a natural or civil event that much more deadly.

Auckland's also one of just two cities surveyed that had worked out the impact of an outer-space event such as solar flares causing power-outages, and it doesn't stop there. Auckland's Emergency Management Group Plan 2010- 2015 not only details how prepared people are but also exactly how much a disaster would disable the economy.

If Rangitoto were to erupt it could result in a 14 percent reduction in the country's GDP - that's twice the financial dent caused by the great depression. He said specific detail like that puts Auckland at the front of the pack.

Dr Allen Bonner has previously worked for numerous US heads of government, G8 and UN delegations, the WTO and NATO.

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