7 Oct 2013

NGOs run disaster response simulation in Nadi

4:29 pm on 7 October 2013

Disaster response simulation exercises are being undertaken in Nadi this week, as non government organisations aim to ensure fewer lives are lost in the Pacific following a disaster.

Seven New Zealand aid and development agencies have joined forces to carry out the exercises, first in Vanuatu and Tonga, and currently in Fiji.

The Pacific programmes officer for TEAR Fund NZ, Joy Davidson, says there are about 1,000 people involved in the disaster-preparedness exercises in Nadi, and sirens and evacuations of schools and communities have been taking place today..

She says the first 48 hours after a natural disaster are the most critical.

"Improving the response of those people who are at the front-line during that time, is what's going to make the biggest difference, as well as the community. Some of the community here get cut off. Them having an opportunity to activate and implement their emergency plans, practise their first aid, that's going to build capacity within those communities."

Joy Davidson says tomorrow they will be practising the assessment phase of disaster response.