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Floods and Cyclone Response in Recovery Phase

Floods and Cyclone Response in Recovery Phase

The Salvation Army’s response to the severe weather events earlier this year has moved from an immediate emergency mode to a longer-term recovery phase.

The Auckland floods in January, were closely followed by Cyclone Gabrielle in February, which affected Northland, Auckland, the East Coast, Hawke’s Bay and parts of the Waikato. The severe weather events affected whole communities, including lives lost, thousands of homes damaged or made inhabitable and livelihoods impacted.

Salvation Army assistance included the provision of food and hygiene parcels, clothing and bedding, and psycho-social support, along with working alongside local Civil Defence and other agencies and groups.

‘Many individuals, organisations and businesses gave generously in support of The Salvation Army’s emergency response,’ says Salvation Army Public Relations Director Tim Hamilton.

‘We’re grateful for that support and we want to acknowledge the vital role played by donors.’

Tim says that donated goods and funds have been put into place across affected areas in the North Island.

Territorial Director of Community Ministries Jono Bell says that with the immediate emergency over in flooded and cyclone-hit areas, The Salvation Army response has moved into the recovery phase.

‘A key aspect of this longer-term response includes restocking depleted emergency supplies and boosting staff resource across the affected regions,’ says Jono.

‘Some new staff are already on board, while others are being recruited. Food security and psycho-social support are among the major areas being reinforced.’

The new roles include ‘Kai Champions’ who work with local communities to develop sustainable food security projects such as food co-operatives that will have long-term benefits.

‘In some cases, additional staff will help to free up existing staff from extra frontline demand, allowing additional focus on psycho-social support to affected individuals and families,’ says Jono.

The provision of food parcels continues to be an important part of the overall response. A shipment of 400 food parcels, for example, was sent to Gisborne in recent weeks for distribution throughout the region.

Photo: Whangarei TSA and 155 Food Rescue working together to distribute Kai parcels

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