Red Cross Whanganui: are you disaster ready?

Red Cross team leader David Russell (left) with team members (from left) Mike Carson, Pam Hiroti, Paulette Archer, and former WHS student Shaun Jarman outside the Red Cross truck.
PHOTO/ Stuart Munro

In light of World First Aid day on Saturday the Red Cross Whanganui team were out and about raising awareness about preparing for a disaster.

The team set up camp at the River Traders Market on Taupo Quay in Whanganui on Saturday morning.

Red Cross Whanganui team leader David Russell said the aim was to give the community a taste of what they do and what people can do to prepare themselves before a disaster strikes.

"New Zealand is a country where we do have a lot of natural disasters with earthquakes, to wet-weather events to volcanoes to all sorts so I think it's very pertinent that people have a plan and are well prepared."

Mr Russell has been apart of the Red Cross for nearly seven years and has volunteered in several big disasters including the Edgecumbe floods early this year and the Kaikoura earthquake late last year.

"My first deployment was the Christchurch earthquake in 2011."

Mr Russell said Saturday was a good opportunity to recruit more volunteers and also network with other groups.

"We currently have a team of 17 so it would be good to get some more on board."

The team also had the bonus of meeting Prime Minister Bill English during his visit to Whanganui on Saturday.

"We had been actively selling a new Red Cross publication which is a kids' book called Kiri and Emergency and we presented a copy of that to the Prime Minister and he was very positive about it."

Mr Russell said overall the response from the public had been really positive.

By Emma Russell
Wanganui Chronicle 12/9/17