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Helping Others

Whether you are interested in becoming a Civil Defence volunteer, or offer support and assistance within your local community, you can play a vital role in the community in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency.

Community Response

A community-led response is any activity run by members of the community, to offer support and assistance to people affected by an emergency.  A community-led response does not fall under the direction of Civil Defence but may be supported by or operate alongside a Civil Defence response.

What might people need?

  • Information
  • Food, water, shelter
  • Emotional support
  • Checking on vulnerable people
  • Working bees

Talk to us

We encourage you to let Civil Defence know what is happening so they can support you if required.  Contact information during an emergency will be on the home page of this website

How we can help

To help you look after people Civil Defence may:

  • organise the delivery of resources
  • authorise the spending of money and reimburse individuals afterwards
  • arrange a supply and credit line and pay the retailer afterwards

If approved purchases are made, receipts will be required when requesting reimbursement.  Unless approved by Civil Defence, any costs incurred remain with individuals.

Work and Income may also be able to help with costs in an emergency.  There is a set daily rate for the recovery costs that may be available for those hosting evacuees, payment for food, clothing, and bedding costs may be available, and people may be able to claim for loss of income.

Health and safety

Everybody is responsible for health and safety. However, legally, a community-led response can be comparable to an organisation working for a community purpose that has no employees and is considered a volunteer association.  Therefore if this criteria is met, there is no duty, responsibility or liability under the Health and Safety in the Workplace Act (2015).


The Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group has a number of volunteer roles that members of the community can fulfil. These roles include Rapid Response, Welfare Response and Communications. Volunteers participate in training and exercises throughout the year to learn and maintain skills and relationships with each other, partner agencies and HB CDEM staff.

Training occurs fortnightly for volunteers involved in the Rapid Response Team and every four weeks for our other volunteers.  There is a requirement to attend a minimum of 80% of the training to remain a CDEM volunteer.

Is volunteering right for me? If you have energy, skills, no criminal convictions, mobile phone, email and want to make a difference then contact us.

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