The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2016 (Act) strengthens planning for recovery.
Recovery is one of the 4 ‘R’s (reduction, readiness, response, recovery). Planning for recovery helps ensure measures are in place to minimise the consequences of emergencies on communities.
Good planning ensures that Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups and local authorities are well-placed if an emergency occurs.
To date the focus has largely been on response and readiness. It’s time to ensure recovery and the opportunity to build resilience are also given due attention.
Important points on who is responsible for recovery planning:
- CDEM Groups have the responsibility to plan for recovery rather than Group Recovery Managers – this reflects that planning for recovery needs to happen at a high strategic level across a CDEM Group area (s17).
- There already is a duty on local authorities to plan and provide for civil defence emergency management within their districts or regions (s64). The changes to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 amend the definition of civil defence emergency management to make it clear that planning activities include recovery. Local authorities as a whole (not just the parts with CDEM responsibilities for an event) must plan for recovery.
- Group and Local Recovery Managers should plan for their recovery activities.
- Recovery planning is likely to involve a wide range of people across local authorities. This includes planners working with the Resource Management Act, Building Act, Reserves Act etc. who can help provide advice on what sorts of land use planning matters might need to be addressed during recovery. Transport and infrastructure managers can identify access risks and consider roading and water. Finance managers can plan for decisions about resourcing.
- The scope and detail of the recovery planning required will depend on the types of hazards and risks in an area and how they could impact on the community and land use. Planning should involve considering a range of scenarios.
Specifically the changes to the Act strengthen recovery planning by:
- requiring CDEM Groups to amend their plans by 1 June 2018 to include the strategic planning for recovery from the hazards and risks in their districts (clauses (2), 19(2) and 19(5) of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Act 2016).
- providing a detailed definition of ‘recovery activity’ which includes reference to needs assessment, community participation and integrating planning with other processes (s4).
- amending the definition of ‘civil defence emergency management’ so it expressly includes recovery activities (s4). This makes it clear that the Act covers recovery.
- making it a function of CDEM Groups to ‘plan’ for and ‘carry out’ recovery activities (s17)
- requiring the Group Recovery Managers and Local Recovery Managers to undertake recovery activities during transition periods, which includes planning for recovery (s30A)
- specifically including ‘recovery from’ emergencies within the scope of optional Director’s guidelines (section 9(3)(b)). This enables the Director to issue guidelines on strategic planning for CDEM Groups to take into account (under section 53(2)) in their CDEM Group Plans.
The National Emergency Management Agency is preparing information to assist CDEM Groups to undertake strategic planning for recovery, which is expected to be completed within the next 12 months.