Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group’s new regional telephone number 0800 HBAYCD (0800 422 923) is now live for people to call if they need urgent support in Hawke’s Bay.
Group Controller Ian Macdonald said the number has been set up to ensure people with no other support networks get the urgent help they need.
“Wherever possible, we urge people to use their existing support networks if you need help – ask your friends or family to drop off groceries, prescriptions and other essential supplies, or use online shopping and pharmacy delivery services.
“If you need advice and information, there is a wealth of information online at www.covid19.govt.nz, and you can also call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am to 1am, seven days a week).
“Our regional number is for those people who don’t have the support network that so many of us take for granted, so we ask our communities – please treat it as such.
“If our system becomes overloaded, we may miss calls from those who most need our support."
Mr Macdonald asked for patience from those calling the phone line.
“Given this is the first major national emergency in recent times, we may not be able to respond to calls as quickly as people would like.
“We ask everyone to think ahead, be patient, and be kind to the people who are working in very stressful situations to support our communities.”
Mr Macdonald said the group was working in partnership with the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board to identify and connect people with essential support services to ensure no-one falls through the gaps.
“We’ve been using our existing community networks to actively seek those who might need our help, and we’ve been building these networks so we can quickly extend our reach into our communities.
“Our regional approach is evolving, and will continue to evolve as the situation and people’s needs change.”
Mr Macdonald stressed the best way to help others was by sticking to the rules.
“We can all play our part. Everyone should stay at home. This is the best thing we can all do to stop the spread of COVID-19. This will save lives.”
For more information on COVID-19, visit www.covid19.govt.nz
31 March 2020
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