People with Disabilities Emergency Preparedness Symposium   28 May 2012

Hon Tariana Turia, Minister for Disability Issues, is applauding a symposium which will focus on better emergency preparedness and responses for disabled people to be held in Christchurch on Monday 28th to Tuesday 29th of May.

Mrs Turia said “I think it is vital that when we plan for emergencies, such as natural disasters, we are prepared to respond to the needs of every member of our communities – that includes people with disabilities.”

“The Symposium will bring together disabled people and their families, as well as local service providers and international guests to talk about how we can better support the needs of disabled people in a disaster.”

This event which has been organised by the Office for Disability Issues, Civil Defence and CBM, will be hosted by Ngai Tahu and DPA Christchurch. It has attracted a number of sponsors who all have a role to play in emergency preparedness and management.

Mrs Turia said “there is no one service or person that is responsible for looking after the needs of disabled people in an emergency. In fact, we all play a role. I would like to thank the many organisations who have come together to make this important event happen."

"This Symposium will provide us with an opportunity to hear first hand what peoples experiences were during the Christchurch earthquakes, with a view of learning from those experiences to ensure that we are better prepared to respond to emergencies in the future.”

“We cannot know when an emergency or disaster may strike, but we can be prepared for these situations. I think its important that we ensure that every member of our community is looked after during these times. We must leave no one out, and no one behind.”

“I am looking forward to participating in this event, and to learning more about how we can support people with disabilities in emergency management.”

(New Zealand Government)

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