In case of emergency, kids in Riverton know the drill

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Emergency Management Southland community adviser Aly Curd educates Riverton pupils about the importance of noticing warning signs ahead of a tsunami or earthquake.

THERE is no better time to prepare tamariki (children) for a natural disaster, Emergency Management Southland community adviser Aly Curd says.

After recent large weather events in Southland, it was timely Riverton pupils took part in the New Zealand ShakeOut event last week a national earthquake drill and tsunami hikoi (evacuation/trek) to teach people about warning signs and what to do in a natural disaster.

Ms Curd said any time was a good time to prepare for emergencies.

“Riverton’s very susceptible, not just to flooding but also to the likes of earthquake and as a result, tsunami, so anything that we can do to be prepared and better prepared, because these events are going to continue to happen in the future, it’s just part of what we need to be doing.”

Hundreds of pupils from Aparima College, Riverton Primary, Riverton Kindergarten and Riverton Childcare came together on Thursday to take part, as well as some pupils on Stewart Island.

“This has been going on for a number of years now so they know what to do, it’s just part of their everyday life and it’s not scary for them.”

Riverton Primary teacher Lisa Brady said pupils ran through drop, cover and hold drills and did a tsunami hikoi (walk) to Bupa Longwood Retirement Village and Care Home.

“Because we’re so coastal [the risk is] a real reality for us.

“It’s always good to practise what to do in an event because you never know when an emergency will happen.”

Riverton Kindergarten teacher Kathy Hollings said pupils practised an earthquake drill once a month and were the first to arrive at the tsunami evacuation point.

Upon arriving at the rest-home, children sang to residents, who sat on their patios.

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