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In developing countries, 80% to 90% of persons with disabilities of working age are unemployed, whereas in industrialised countries the figure is between 50% and 70% (UN)
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CBM plays key role in making New Zealand disaster preparedness disability inclusive



[ Campaign logo appears on the screen – In big letters it reads Get Ready, get thru with a small logo next to it stating “Civil Defense”]

[Man appears on the screen and begins to speak in sign language]

Disasters could happen at any time throughout New Zealand.

What disasters could we have?

We could have disasters like Storms or Volcanoes. We could also have Earthquakes or Tsunami. For some disasters you may not get any warnings. That is why it is important for you to prepare now so that you know what to do. And you will be ready wherever you are in New Zealand.

Disasters can happen at anytime, so it is important for you to watch this video and understand clearly how you can protect and keep yourself safe. If you want to find out more, you can get more detailed information on what to do from your local council or by visiting the civil defense website.


First of a series of videos from from New Zealand Civil Defence explaining what to do in the event of a natural disaster.

In February 2011 the New Zealand city of Christchurch was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. In May 2012 CBM played a key role in a symposium to increase disability inclusion in future emergency preparedness and response.

2011 earthquake prompts better inclusion

New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) has recently made efforts to provide emergency preparedness that is more inclusive of the wider community, including persons with disability.

On 26th September at 9:26am New Zealand participated in a nationwide earthquake emergency drill called New Zealand Shake-Out.  The first ever nationwide drill offered emergency preparedness material for people with disabilities.

MCDEM put into action lessons learnt from a symposium held in Christchurch in May 2012 called 'Disability inclusive emergency preparedness and response: Learning from the Canterbury earthquakes'.  The symposium hosted persons with disabilities, health professionals and practitioners, public officials and emergency managers to find out what worked and what didn’t work for the disabled community in the February 2011 earthquake response that rattled New Zealand’s South Island.

CBM involvement

CBM played a key role in the symposium, working with its various stakeholders and sponsors to ensure ways forward could be identified.

Symposium highlights included guest speakers John Hamilton from MCDEM, Valerie Scherrer of CBM’s Inclusive Emergency Response Unit, pre-recorded video messages from disabled persons organisations in Pakistan and Japan, a live video conference call with Marcie Roth, Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and a range of panellist and speakers from the disabled community.

Increased recognition of importance of disability inclusion

In June 2012, disability was featured in the Civil Defence IMPACT magazine (Volume 45) in an article 'Nothing about us, without us – the experiences of disabled people in Christchurch'.  And by September, MCDEM had emphasised inclusive emergency preparedness in New Zealand Shake-Out, highlights including:
  • A homepage link to “instructions for people with disabilities or special requirements”
  • Cross impairment information
  • Informational videos for the Deaf and hearing impaired community conducted in New Zealand Sign Language done in collaboration with Deaf Aotearoa
  • MP3 audio recordings for the blind and visually impaired community done in collaboration with the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind
  • A “Drop, Cover and Hold” brochure for persons who use wheelchairs or have physical impairments
  • Information for asthma and respiratory problems, and for those with special food requirements
As an issue growing in awareness on the international arena, this is a great example of country-level progress towards disability inclusive emergency preparedness.The tsunami in Japan, Hurricane Katrina in the US, and the New Zealand Canterbury earthquakes all hold valuable lessons on disability inclusive emergency management which can offer stimulating discussion in the international arena.

Read more

Learning from the New Zealand earthquakes

CBM partnered with New Zealand government departments in May 2012 to help ensure future emergency response is disability inclusive


Humanitarian Action

CBM working with local partners to ensure that people with disabilities are included at all levels of disaster preparedness and response

Visit the website of CBM New Zealand


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