The little street that could

Papakura residents make emergency plan all of their own

Publish Date : 02 Apr 2024

Residents of Ashdown Place in Papakura will be ready next time disaster strikes.

They aren’t waiting for someone else to come up with a plan, coming together to make one of their own.

Taking advantage of summer weather, they came together to turn the grassed patch in the cul-de-sac into a village green, complete with tables, music and a barbecue.

Neighbourhood Support representatives joined to discuss events that could isolate the community.

Papakura District’s Andrea Beard says one of the first actions was co-ordinating a list of the skills neighbours could offer each other, which included plumbing, nursing and first aid.

A secondary list was compiled of those able to offer housing, food or a helping hand.

Neighbourhood Support chair Graeme Marshall provided fridge magnets to write contact details on to keep them handy in an emergency, and the gathering decided on a follow-up stage – identifying vulnerable people and creating a ‘posse’ to check on them.

Beard says it was pleasing to see how many people were willing to take on a role.

“The number of caring people who just want to help was awesome. Knowing your neighbours gives safety and security. It’s easy to post on the internet but meeting face-to-face is more effective. If Ashdown Place can do it, any street can.”

Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole says no-one knows an area better than the people wo live in it.

“The floods last year were horrendous and the best place to start planning for something that is certain to happen again one day, is in your own home, and your street.

“People tend to look to others for solutions. Where is Civil Defence or Auckland Emergency Management when the most sensible thing is to be ready on a personal level, and to know what to do to help those nearest to you.

“But to enact a plan first you have to have one, and we’d encourage everyone to follow Ashdown Place’s example and think about their own families, homes and immediate neighbours.”

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