Civil Defence

This is Our School Emergency Plan made with the support of WREMO.

We are a Community Emergency Hub not a Civil Defence Centre

Community Emergency Hubs are about the community coming together to do what it can to help each other – people helping people with what they have available.

The Wellington Region Emergency Management Of ce (WREMO) works with our communities to empower and promote a community-led response to the challenges communities will face during a disaster.

As we saw in Christchurch and other disasters around the world, people want to help those in need. After a significant emergency, such as an earthquake, the community will naturally come together for company, to share their stories about their experience, nd out information, offer assistance to those who need it, and look for assistance.

Community Emergency Hubs (formally known as Civil Defence Centres) are pre- identified places for the community to coordinate their efforts to help each other during and after a disaster. Community Emergency Hubs will be opened by people in their community, not of cial staff, when there is need for the community to help itself, such as when there has been widespread infrastructural damage, damage to buildings and roads, or communication networks are down for extended periods.

To find out more review the following two WREMO Documents.
WREMO Hub Information
WREMO Community Hub InfoGraphic


Latest Civil Deference Emergency Plan (pdf)

What we have prepared in case of an Emergency

With the recent earthquake, I thought I would share some information about our procedures and planning. Nothing below is new, but I thought I would share with you what we have in place!

If you visit our website and search for civil defence you can then download our latest Civil Defence Emergency Plan.

For your own preparation I suggest you visit the Ministry of Civil Defence Get Ready, Get Thru site which has lots of useful information. It may be wise to plan and discuss with your family what you would do during significant event and what your reunification plan is. If you work in the city, explain to your child/ren that after a large earthquake it may take a few hours for you to get back to Seatoun but there are lots of teachers and other adults that will look after them.

The procedure for earthquake with no tsunami risk

We would follow our normal procedures which very briefly includes; drop, cover and hold until the end of the earthquake. At this time we would evacuate to the school field and assess the situation.

The procedure if there is a tsunami risk

Our criteria for a tsunami risk earthquake is “if it is long and strong, be gone!”. If it is longer than one minute, or stronger than being able to stand up, we evacuate immediately to the old Pa site above the school. Students would walk in an orderly fashion out of the school, if possible pick up their jacket from their hook and then walk to the nearest set of stairs. We have assigned stairs for different year groups, but on the day, we would go to the set that has the least number of adults on it. We also know that the set to the south is higher than other exits.

In Term 1 we will have a tsunami drill during interval/lunchtime. In this situation we would not return to classes, but immediately evacuate to the ridge line.

This week we have been given access to the old ammunition bunker above the school. It is our intention to store 1000 plastic ponchos (I would be very grateful if family/members of the community would come forward and sponsor this purchase, approx cost of $1,000) some food and water. We are very grateful for the Wellington City Council for giving us this access.

If we have multiple people on our list for collecting our kids, how do we know who has them and where they have been taken?

If your child is collected by one of the contacts on your list, we record on our list who has taken your child/children and where they took them too. You would then come to school to find this information out.

When should we collect other people's kids if we cannot make contact with parents (ie telco/internet overload)

We would need to make this call on the day. Variables such as time of day, weather and emotional state of children would inform our thinking. We would keep children at school for as long as reasonable to give parents time to collect.

What emergency supplies does the school have onsite and how long are they expected to last?

In addition to the two very large plastic water tanks on our court, we have a garage full of supplies. In this we have a substantial amount of bottled water. Some of this may have expired, but we have decided to retain this. In addition, we have approximately 1000 cans of food. We would expect the water to last a large number of days and the food to last 24 hours.

We also have one BBQ, many gas bottles and other supplies such as buckets, batteries, gloves, torches, shovels, axe and first aid supplies stored in this garage.

What happens to kids who have not been picked up?

If we had children left at school late in the day / evening we would need to decide what is the best decision for them. If the tsunami risk had passed, we could either bring them back to school or decide to have them ‘billeted’ by other families. If this was the case, we would record who had taken children home.

What happens if the emergency occurs at lunchtime as it did in Christchurch?

It would be good for parents to reiterate that we do not want children to leave the school grounds and go home. We would either meet on the school field, or evacuate to the Orauiti Pa site.  We practice this at lest twice a year.

What happens if the stairs or hill are badly affected by the quake as was the case with cliffs behind Sumner and Redclifs schools in Christchurch?

At this time, our advice from Civil Defence is to use our planned departure route and meet at the Oruaiti Pā site. If we feel that this is not a safe choice we would evacuate up Dorset Cove.

What happens if tsunami waters or slips prevent a large number of people collecting kids?

In an extreme event, this is possible. In this situation we would be relying on the community to help each other in many ways including looking after children.

Reunification Process - this is the process we follow when we run a reunification drill.


2pm– the school bell will be sounded for one minute signalling an earthquake. Students will drop, cover and hold.
2.01pm – students will evacuate the building under the control of their teacher
2.03pm – students will line up as they do for our regular fire drill and the roll will be taken
2.03pm – Seatoun Kindergarten children will arrive and join their brother/sister if applicable. Kindy children will wear a high visibility vest. Kindy children without school age siblings will sit with the Kindy Staff next to the Juniors. As parents arrive, they will go immediately to their child/children, provide comfort and support and assist the teacher if required.
2.10pm – Under the direction of the Principal, students will be relocated to be sitting in whānau groupings with the teacher of the youngest child.
2.20pm – Under the direction of the Principal an ‘all clear’ will be signalled and, starting with the youngest children, the signing out of children will commence.
3.00pm – any child not collected will be dismissed as if it were a normal day.

Parents or authorised alternatives

On arrival, parents or authorised alternatives will be directed to go immediately to their children. They will remain with their child/children and the class until we have been given the all clear by Civil Defence, when we will then commence signing students out.

We will start with the families with younger children. In an orderly and manageable fashion students will be released into the care of the parent/emergency contact.

Tables will be set up (or staff members in pink vests will be standing with clip boards) with alphabet signs indicating which person the collector reports to, according to the child’s surname.

Parents will need to line-up and wait to have their details recorded and then leave the area.

Parents with Kindergarten Children are to report to the Kindergarten teacher standing beside one of our staff with a pink vest.

The child/children’s name will be highlighted and the person collecting the child/children name will also be highlighted. If it is not the parent, then a record of where the child/children will be taken is also noted.

In an actual event, any children who are significantly injured will be recorded on the master list at reception. Collectors would be informed of the situation at this point.