2 Jul 2013

Cook Islands emergency director says ministries to do more

8:55 pm on 2 July 2013

The Director of Emergency Management of the Cook Islands says it's up to individual ministries to take responsibility for future disasters.

Charles Carlson is in Fiji this week at the combined disaster risk and climate change meetings in Nadi, and says countries need to do more to prepare for disasters.

He says the response of the Cook Islands to cyclone Evan last year was far too reactive and it took them a year to set up a fund to deal with the damage.

Mr Carlson says it's everyone's job to make sure they are prepared for disasters.

"There's a disaster in the Cook Islands and everybody says Oh just ring the emergency management of the Cook Islands, it's their responsibility. But what we are trying to say is no, it's not our responsibility alone, it's everybody's responsibility and the focus really is to try to encourage each ministry to ensure they do have their contingency plans in place."

Charles Carlson.