Emergency Management Southland (EMS) has activated an 0800 number, email address and website contact form to ensure every Southlander can access the support they need during the Covid-19 lockdown, Group Controller Angus McKay says.
New Zealand is now at Alert Level 4 of the Covid-19 Response, which means anyone not involved in essential work, needs to stay at home, educational facilities are now closed, businesses are closed, except for essential services like supermarkets, pharmacies and clinics, and lifeline utilities.
“This will save lives. You must stay home,” McKay said.
The Southland Emergency Coordination Centre has been preparing for increasing welfare needs in the region and its contact points are up and running as of 7am on Tuesday, March 31.
McKay said people should get in contact if they urgently needed assistance with access to essential household goods and services due to their self-isolation for Covid-19.
People can contact staff at the centre through any of the following ways:
Phone: 0800 890 127
The email and 0800 number will be operated between 7am-7pm, 7 days a week.
EMS was developing a plan for the delivery of household good and services around the region, McKay said.
EMS welfare staff had been been checking in with communities around the region to get a handle on what peoples’ needs were, what was working well, and helping identify where the gaps were.
“We’re hearing that local networks are doing a great job giving each other support needed, but it’s paramount that no-one’s needs are overlooked during this hugely challenging time,” McKay said.
A lot of planning had gone into getting the centre operational, with strict protocols around physical distancing, and efforts to have staff work remotely where possible, he said.