In just a few weeks the Disaster Welfare and Support Teams from Hamilton, Rotorua and Tauranga have reached more than 300 homes and have given over 450 preparedness packs.

Distributing the packs gave some Disaster Welfare and Support team members the opportunity to check in with members of the community who they helped during the Edgecumbe floods. It was also the first opportunity for many of those who responded to the floods to witness the changes in the town. Julie Forrest, Humanitarian Services Coordinator for Rotorua and Eastern Bay of Plenty who organised the Grab and Go outreach, says that those who have been visited “have been very positive and helpful. People are keen to build the community up.”

Fire Chief of the Edgecumble Volunteer Fire Brigade Adrien Massey and his partner

Recovery is a journey, as Fire Chief of the Edgecumble Volunteer Fire Brigade Adrien Massey knows first hand. “Well, obviously, the impact has been quite huge. I mean a lot of people have been displaced, a lot of homes removed and it’s had a huge impact on the community.”

Adrien and his team were some of the first responders to the Edgecumbe floods in 2017. He remembers the morning the flood banks on the Rangitikei river breached. “We were out there for a couple of hours. The other crew were around the area as well just going to homes and helping people out where they could.”

The packs contain emergency preparedness items including a first aid kit, emergency blankets, matches, water bottles and ponchos.

Get involved

We are always looking for keen people to get involved with their local Disaster Welfare Support Team. Find out more about our volunteer opportunities here.