What should lifeline utilities do?

Find out what lifeline utilities should do to plan for emergency events and meet their obligations under the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Act 2002.

Lifeline utilities must be able to continue functioning to the fullest possible extent during and after an emergency. Even though this may be at a reduced level. 

Lifeline utilities must be resilient to emergencies. Their emergency planning should integrate with wider CDEM planning. This is only possible through cooperative planning.

The CDEM Act 2002 does not impose new business requirements. It does not change responsibility for risk, asset and emergency management. The emphasis is on ensuring lifeline utilities provide continuity of operation. Particularly where their service supports essential CDEM activity. 

What should individual lifeline utilities do?

Individual lifeline utilities should:

  • plan for and be able to put in place procedures to ensure continuity of services;
  • understand the full range of hazards that could impact on your operations;
  • consider external risks, including dependence on other sectors and outsourcing arrangements;
  • confirm and exercise risk assessment and continuity plans internally and externally;
  • forecast likely demand for services, including CDEM activities in response;
  • agree disconnection and restoration priorities with CDEM Groups;
  • understand the consequences of emergencies;
  • understand roles and responsibilities within emergency management;
  • establish planning and operational relationships with CDEM Groups;
  • take part in regional lifeline utility activities such as Lifelines Groups; and
  • take part in cross-sector regional activity.

Lifeline utilities should help the National Emergency Management Agency and CDEM Groups:

  • review the consequences of national or regional hazards;
  • clarify responsibilities, roles; and
  • clarify activity coordination.

What should your sector do?

Your sector should:

  • ensure utilities plan across the sector to optimise service during emergencies;
  • establish mutual aid mechanisms to address individual shortages in resources or personnel;
  • protect continuity of operations and supply;
  • develop sector-based contracts that provide access to alternative supply;
  • be able to reconfigure operations or networks to cater for loss of assets;
  • ensure reconfiguring or load shedding mechanisms enable continuity of supply to CDEM critical activities;
  • coordinate planning across your utility sector to increase capability;
  • have common approaches to reduction, readiness and response activities;
  • share and apply examples of best practice that protect resources;
  • determine how the sector communicates / distributes during an event; and
  • have agreement on sustainable development of resources.

Are your staff and their families prepared?

Your staff are one of your most vital assets in an emergency. How prepared they are will directly affect your ability to respond to and recover from an emergency.

Visit www.getready.govt.nz/work to get your workplace ready.

National CDEM Exercise Programme

Exercises are a crucial part of testing emergency plans and inter-agency communications. Lifeline utilities should get involved in relevant regional and national exercises.

Learn more about the National CDEM Exercise Programme