Working to create a CI plan in case of disaster

Tuesday February 28, 2017 Written by Published in Weather
Cook Islands needs a national disaster plan, says EMCI director Charles Carlson. 17022709 Cook Islands needs a national disaster plan, says EMCI director Charles Carlson. 17022709

Emergency Management Cook Islands is happy with the initial results of a workshop last Friday in which government ministries began to work out their roles during national disasters.

But EMCI director Charles Carlson says it is just the beginning.

Carlson said the workshop should have taken place a long time ago.

EMCI aims to strengthen Cook Islands resilience in the threat of disaster and climate change, in doing so, achieving sustainable livelihoods.

Carlson said EMCI faced the problem that ministries weren’t sure of their role in the event of a disaster.

“They would just pass the buck, throw their hands up and say that’s not our responsibility,” said Carlson.


The workshop was an attempt to hold each ministry accountable and finally have everyone on the same page to work together in an emergency.

Carlson hoped that the workshop would “get the ball rolling” and serve as a chance to start putting a national plan in place, so that each ministry can decipher how they could look at risk reduction in dealing with each hazard.

The meeting highlighted that the number of possible hazards for the Cook Islands are vast, especially with economic growth, and technological advancements, Carlson said.

 “They might not all apply to us [Rarotonga] but nonetheless, we should be prepared in dealing with them.”

“At least identifying each agency will help us work alongside them and develop a national plan.

I don’t expect them to develop their own plan, as it is an area that is very new.

Disaster management and disaster-risk reduction are all concepts that have been introduced in the past couple of years,” says Carlson.

When asked if the work shop had achieved all he had hoped, Carlson said: “This is just the start of it.”

“We have some hazards where it is not quite clear which agency should be leading, these workshops will help us identify who needs help and where,” he added. 

1 comment

  • Comment Link Wendy Dore Sunday, 09 April 2017 19:36 posted by Wendy Dore

    Hello from New Zealand. My family is planning a visit and I was wondering if there's an online version they could look at, of a document we saw there: It listed the Cyclone stages, what to do, where the evac centres are, what you need, all relevant phone numbers, etc. They're travelling with a small child so would love to be well prepared, just in case!
    Kind regards, Wendy Dore in Christchurch

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