5 months ago by Kate Boersen
The new ‘Let’s Get Ready’ programme is helping Kiwi kids and their families get ready for emergencies.
The programme has been developed in collaboration between Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Hawke’s Bay Red Cross and East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary).
‘Let’s Get Ready’, taught by Red Cross community trainers and members, teaches 7 to 10 years olds what to do in sudden impact emergencies such as earthquakes and tsunami and encourages them to make an emergency plan with their families.
Jae Sutherland Community Resilience Advisor for Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups says often CDEM staff find it difficult to allocate time to working in schools so this programme, aimed at 7- to 10-year-olds, ensures key CDEM messages are being taught in schools while capitalising on Red Cross’s resources.
During the 45-minute lesson, the students read the bilingual book ‘Rūaumoko’s Walk’, which uses Māori pūrākau to teach the natural warning signs of a tsunami.
The children also dress up as the ‘What’s the Plan, Stan?’ IMPACT superheroes and work together to discuss scenarios, such as what to do in an emergency if they cannot get home, are stuck at home, or have no electricity.
They take home a preparedness pack so they can talk with their parents about what they have learnt and work together to create a family emergency plan. In addition, teachers are encouraged to use ‘What’s the Plan, Stan?’ resources with their class to follow up from the Red Cross visit.
“The course is not just helping children get prepared - it’s also reaching their families and the wider community,” says Hawke’s Bay Red Cross Community Trainer Lia Jugo.
The programme has been well received in Hawke’s Bay and similar programmes are starting in Gisborne, Wairarapa and Nelson.
Kate Boersen Project Coordinator for East Coast LAB says, “We’ve developed a programme guide so that ‘Let’s Get Ready’ can be replicated in other regions.”