Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. They can be caused by severe weather, infectious diseases, industrial accidents, or by intentional acts.
The very nature of an emergency is that it is unpredictable. It can vary in scope and impact. An emergency can threaten public safety, the environment, the economy, critical infrastructure or the health of the public.
A national emergency often affects access to health care services and the health care system’s ability to respond to the public’s health needs. Emergency preparedness is progressive, continuously building increased resilience among the public and relevant agencies. This ongoing process involves careful planning, designing of response actions, testing and evaluation of processes and continual updating.
For the health sector, careful planning in particular is critical to safe-guarding the public health care system. Education and training of the health workforce, who will activate the health emergency plan should it be required, are also essential.
In this section
- The legislative context for emergency management, key agencies, and the Ministry's role within this framework. Read more
- The National Health Emergency Plan provides overarching strategic direction for emergency management. It is supported by a number of guidance documents and action plans. Read more
- Guidance for the health sector on pandemic planning and response, and information on illnesses including avian influenza and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Read more
- Primary care is an essential service that is relied on by the community. Planning ahead for how to continue to provide services during any circumstance is essential; whether it be a disruption to a single practice or a wider-scale event that impacts on a whole region. Read more
- A report on liquefaction silt prepared after the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake rated as low the health risk from dust generated from earthquake liquefaction and sewage contamination. Read more
- Emergency management resources for the health sector, including information for health workers on how to cope with stress and anxiety in an emergency situation. Read more
- Publications relating to health emergency management and planning in New Zealand. Read more
- New Zealand ShakeOut provides an opportunity for health and disability organisations to get better prepared for a major earthquake. Planning for this, including identifying the level of participation, should commence in advance of the nationwide earthquake drill at 9.26 am on 26th September 2012. Read more
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management website offers a range of publications and resources for the emergency management sector.
Information for the public on keeping well in an emergency.