After a large earthquake, your first thoughts will be your household and family. Once you have checked in with them, you might find you need some help with something, or that you are able to help others. Maybe you know water is an issue, and you have a large store of water. Perhaps there’s no power and every household is using a BBQ to cook – surely a few families cooking together on one BBQ would save gas? Or it could be you need help clearing your home, or section, or you even just need some company. Coordinating all of this could be difficult – but that’s where your local Community Emergency Hub comes into play.

Community Emergency Hubs (or Hubs for short) are pre-identified places for communities to gather and coordinate their own response to helping each other during and after a disaster. The Hubs used to be called Civil Defence Centres (or CDCs).

WREMO has worked with communities across the Wellington Region to get some ideas of how the community can help each other – communities know communities best. You know what you have and what you might need. The Hubs have a guide in them that includes local information such as the community’s strengths and resources. Because people like you in communities will open the Hubs if they are needed, the guide also gives ideas on how people could set the Hub up and get the local response going.

There won’t be any official government staff at the Hubs, but they do have communication links to the Emergency Operations Centre, where council staff and emergency services will be coordinating help for the city. Hubs are also not Emergency Assistance Centres (formerly known as Welfare Centres) where official government support can be accessed.

Remember, in an emergency go to your local Community Emergency Hub if:

  • you need assistance
  • you can provide assistance by sharing resources and skills
  • you want information or can give information about what has happened in your neighbourhood

Hubs are located at local primary schools, community centres, and other community gathering spaces.  Check out our website for the location of the closet Community Emergency Hub to your home and workplace.  

If you want to know more about how the Hubs will run, you can join our free training programme, or come along to a Hub activation exercise. 

If you have any issues on emergency preparedness you’d like discussed in this column, email

Released: 28 March, 2017