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Emergency Response Kits - Tonga (Rotary New Zealand ERKs)

  • Tonga calls for replacement Stock

      28 March 2022
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    With still a month to go before the end of the cyclone season, preparations are underway for sending 600 Kits to Tonga to replace those distributed following the 15 January 2022 Tsunami. Our trusted partners in Tonga collaborated with the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) to ensure those most vulnerable received a Kit. By land and sea, the Kits were given high priority to reach those in remote areas and was the first tangible support received by families. Inflation costs are impacting a rise in value of the Kits in addition to freight costs which have ballooned this past two years. Thanks to all who continue to make a difference.

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  • Tonga Volcano and Tsunami - a Humanitarian Disaster

      31 January 2022

    • 538 Emergency Response Kits have been distributed on Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha’apai.

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  • NIWA is forecasting across the South West Pacific “between nine and 12 named cyclones between November 2021 and April 2022 - a range above normal.”

      5 November 2021

    NIWA anticipate “higher chances of systems in and around the Coral Sea, especially between February and April, along with an elevated risk in the subtropics between Fiji and New Caledonia.” It is essential adequate stock of ERKs are on hand to replace that which can be depleted overnight following a disaster. Forward planning in response is crucial.

    In anticipation, additional stock of Emergency Response Kits is right now on the way for prepositioning in Vanuatu and Fiji in addition to stocks held in Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. This with back up supplies retained in Auckland all thanks to Rotarians from the combined clubs who pack the kits.

    The Emergency Response Kit is distributed to affected families to support them through the first days following a cyclone or other weather event. With a kit and a little ingenuity, a family is able to construct basic shelter, keep themselves protected from the elements and utilise the immediate survival items.

    The value of a kit including the container, contents, freight and storage is approximately $600. The project has been encouraged by the New Zealand Government who over many years has often provided transportation, logistical and financial support.

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  • Cyclone Season a Month Away

      1 October 2021

    Prepositioned supplies will be based in Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and the Cook Islands in readiness to respond with the need arises. Shipping costs have increased significantly due to Covid. Your support is always appreciated.

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  • 2021 - 2022 Cyclone Season on the horizon

      11 August 2021

    Thanks to all the Volunteers supporting Rotary's NZ Emergency Response Kits activity to ensure it is prepared for the forthcoming cyclone season which will impact on our pacific neighbors.

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  • Cyclone Season ends with 945 Kits distributed in Fiji

      21 May 2021

    Donation will be used to replenish the 945 Kits distributed to families in Fiji following the devastation of Cyclones Yasa and Ana which struck Fiji on 17 December 2020 and 1 February 2021 respectively.

    Donors will never meet the families who benefit from their generosity, but be assured, for the recipients of Rotary’s Emergency Response Kits, it most often the first tangible support they receive following a natural disaster.

    This Rotary programme is about restoring dignity to the underprivileged when they at their most vulnerable.

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  • Emergency Response Kits Valued by Recipients

      29 March 2021

    I experienced first-hand the real value of the ERKS in 2012 in Samoa as New Zealand High Commissioner and as a member of the Apia Rotary Club.

    Cyclone Evan hit Samoa in December that year with surprising fury, deluging Apia with tsunami-like force as a level three cyclone. It caused fourteen deaths and extensive damage in both Apia and the southern coast of the main island Upolu. Our Rotary Club was out there delivering much needed Emergency Response Kits on the first day after the disaster. Fortunately, we were able to use kits that were already pre-positioned in Apia just for such an emergency. Families who had lost everything were extremely grateful. The ERKs were delivered in close collaboration with the National Disaster Management Office which coordinated the overall disaster response including the engagement of international partners (including the New Zealand Government), the local community and NGOs. The ERKs were and remain a key part of the Samoa Government’s strategy for disaster responses.

    I was New Zealand High Commissioner in the Cook Islands in 2015 and 2016 and I supported the pre-positioning of over 600 ERKs in Rarotonga as both New Zealand government representative and local Rotary Club member. Fortunately, the Cook Islands missed any significant cyclone damage during that time. But the Cook Islands is well prepared thanks to Rotary and MFAT.

    I was in Nuku’alofa as Acting New Zealand High Commissioner just before Cyclone Gita hit the main island of Tongatapu and the nearby island of ‘Eua. In anticipation of the cyclone, before I left, I made sure the local Rotary Club was ready to distribute hundreds of ERKs that had been prepositioned for just such disasters. It was the most powerful cyclone to hit Tonga since detailed records began with winds of over 230km. It damaged or destroyed almost 2,000 homes, caused the evacuation of over 4,500 people and left more than 80% of homes in Tonga without power. The local Rotary Club, working with a local NGO, subsequently delivered ERKs to badly affected families.

    Nick Hurley

    February 2021

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