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25 August 2017

A natural disaster can occur at any time. It's not a matter of if, but when.

And according to Greg Goodfellow, the port town of Picton needs to be prepared if an earthquake leaves it isolated.

"If the Wairau bridge gets taken out by an earthquake or otherwise, we will need to react with whatever resources we have here in Picton," Greg says. "There will be problems at some stage. While we've got time, let's get this sorted."

His solution comes in the form of an emergency pod, stocked with enough gear for up to 10 volunteers.
In two months, businesses have rallied to support the Picton ITM project with $12,000 worth of goods such as hard hats, goggles, earmuffs and more.

"The pod was designed and built on-site, and the interest and support has grown from there," the Picton ITM trade manager says.
"We are not prepared to wait for local government to provide what will be required. We are proactive and we need the rest of the country to see what can be achieved."
The pod will be positioned in a central Picton location to ensure ease-of-access in an emergency, Greg says.

A plan is also in the pipeline to build a secondary pod which is small enough to be transported by helicopter to anywhere in the Marlborough Sounds.

"We cannot believe how well the concept and the pod has been received by our customers, our suppliers and our locals," Greg says.

Greg believes the idea could be a prototype for emergency management in rural New Zealand, and has invited Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy to inspect the pod.

Greg even envisions a purpose-built ITM Civil Defence Emergency Building in the port town.

"I hope we never have to use this stuff, but it's important to have it if we need it," he says.
"We believe that when disaster strikes we will be in a position to gear up our volunteers in the right personal protective equipment.

"It's important to be prepared for anything."

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