Council snow event exercise

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The Waimate District Council’s emergency operations centre has been put to the test in a one-day snow event exercise.
Staff involved in various emergency operations centre functions, including logistics, welfare and planning, recently tested procedures and plans designed to cope with problems if a heavy snowfall brought the district to a standstill — similar to the big snow event in 2006.
Waimate District Council civil defence emergency management co-ordinator Hilary Botting said Exercise Olaf was run as part of the annual civil defence exercise programme which all New Zealand councils had to undertake.
Mrs Botting said several improvements were made as a result of the exercise.
Staff from the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group office oversaw the exercise and said they were confident the Waimate council’s emergency operations centre would function well in an emergency.
She was pleased with how well council staff performed as a team to get vital services back to normal, Mrs Botting said.
‘‘These things are critical when an actual emergency occurs,’’ she said.
‘‘In a real emergency, council works alongside other emergency services with all staff deployed to assist in the emergency operations centre.’’