Coordinated response planning continues at AF8 SAFER Forum

Coordinated response planning for the next Alpine Fault earthquake continued in Nelson last Wednesday 23 October at the AF8 SAFER Forum.

The AF8 SAFER (South Island Alpine Fault Earthquake Response) Forum brought scientists, Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups, their partner agencies and stakeholders together again to share their work using the SAFER Framework, which was published in October 2018.

The SAFER Framework represents the culmination of two years of collaboration and kōrero between researchers, organisations, agencies and community groups. It provides a concept of coordination aimed at improving knowledge of, readiness for and a collective resilience to a magnitude 8 earthquake on the Alpine Fault.

The SAFER Forum enabled stakeholders to continue this important discussion, recognising the value of consistent, inter-agency communication when planning for a coordinated, multi-agency response to any large-scale event.

AF8 SAFER Forum Nelson Panel Discussion

Partner Agency Panel Discussion at the AF8 SAFER Forum in Nelson

The forum included: presentations on work to date from the New Zealand Transport Agency, New Zealand Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, MBIE’s Temporary Accommodation Service and the Ministry of Social Development; presentations from AF8’s science partners, including potential impacts to lifelines and infrastructure; an update from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management’s Emergency Management Assistance Team (EMAT); and, response planning examples from across the six South Island CDEM Groups.

The event concluded with updates from AF8’s alliance partners: the Hikurangi Response Planning project and the National Earthquake Framework.

A full agenda is available HERE.

“The Forum enables these essential discussions and our collaborative approach to response planning to continue, ensuring we will have a coordinated response to any future event.

“Following an AF8 earthquake our communication networks will be particularly tested and it is critical we have these conversations, coordinate our planning and continue to build inter-agency relationships in advance. How we respond in the first seven days sets the foundation for the longer-term recovery and it’s vital we are able to work together from the get-go.

“Being prepared for an AF8 earthquake is being prepared for any large-scale natural hazard event and we are thrilled to have so many of our partners participating in the Forum.” – AF8 Chairperson, Angus McKay

The AF8 SAFER Forum is part of an ongoing series of activities to continue conversations and knowledge sharing around large natural hazard events like an Alpine Fault earthquake, ensuring that communities and agencies are collectively better prepared.

AF8 Public Science Talk Nelson Rob Langridge GNS Science

Dr. Rob Langridge (Senior Scientist, GNS Science) presenting AF8 hazard and impact science in Nelson.

An AF8 Science Talk for the general public was also held on the Wednesday evening, featuring leading Alpine Fault scientists: Dr. Caroline Orchiston (AF8 Science-Lead / University of Otago), Dr. Rob Langridge (Senior Scientist, GNS Science) and Associate Prof. Liam Wotherspoon (University of Auckland).

The AF8 exercise programme begins next month, with the six South Island CDEM Groups testing parts of the SAFER Framework in their exercise: Rū Whenua Whakariterite on Friday 22 November. A national AF8 exercise is planned for September 2020.

AF8 Exercise Rū Whenua Whakariterite

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