Civil Defence  |  1 Oct 2019

Multilingual emergency messages will be broadcast on Christchurch community access and iwi radio stations to help more people prepare for – and respond to – an emergency.

Developed by the Christchurch City Council and regional Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) teams in collaboration with Plains FM, the weekly messages will be aired on Plains FM 96.9 and Tahu FM 90.5 from October in a year-long public education campaign.

The messages will cover information on what steps to take to get ready for an emergency and its possible impacts, such as having to evacuate.

They have been produced in Te Reo Māori, English, Hindi, Tagalog, Samoan, Chinese, Korean, Farsi, Nepali and Japanese.

Visual messages in New Zealand Sign Language will also be available for use by CDEM teams nationally.

Council Head of Civil Defence Emergency Management Rob Orchard says the multilingual messages aim to meet the needs of the city’s diverse local community.

“Non-English speakers need to have equal access to emergency messages,” Mr Orchard says.

“By using community access and iwi radio, we can provide consistent information before and during an emergency in multiple languages for a wider audience.”

Funded by the Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management’s CDEM Resilience Fund, the project also aims to improve engagement and communication between communities and Civil Defence groups.

“These messages can also be shared via social media and other websites, and will be available for wider use,” Mr Orchard says.