Being Prepared for a Natural Disaster

Events around the world constantly remind us of the need to be prepared for natural disasters.

Ensuring that people and businesses have a reliable power supply as soon as possible after an emergency event is a responsibility that Network Tasman takes very seriously.

We participate in the Nelson Tasman Lifelines group which works together to improve the resilience of critical infrastructure services across the region including water, electricity, communications and fuel.

We also have a portable back-up control room that has a generator and radio communications. This means we can maintain our control room function even if the control room at our head office in Richmond is unavailable. Practising is crucial when it comes to being prepared so we run exercises from our back-up control room to make sure it is ready in the event of an emergency.

Many of our customers live and work in rural areas so to enhance resilience following a disaster we initiated Project Plug. This project has involved us identifying rural schools that could function as community hubs, then pre-wiring a socket so they can easily connect to a generator if and when required.

In addition to practical measures like these we have also reviewed the resilience of our network in general and have identified further initiatives to establish a limited supply within the region in the event of loss of regional connection with the national grid.

On 18 October 2018 the national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi (evacuation), called New Zealand ShakeOut, will take place. Many organisations around the country are planning special events and it’s an ideal time for all of us to look at our crisis preparedness and make sure we’re as ready as we can be if, and when, a natural disaster occurs.

Remember in the event of a natural disaster it’s critically important to stay away from downed power lines and to treat all electrical network equipment as live. If our 0800 number and website are not operating as usual listen for news and updates from local radio stations.