Civil Defence Signs

You might have seen signs around that say 'Civil Defence' or 'Warden Post.' They are usually at local schools, Marae, or community halls. You might also wonder what these signs actually mean?

These signs are a result of a historical understanding between schools, Marae, hall committees, and Civil Defence. Many years ago, the signs indicated that the building could be used as a centre to look after affected communities during a disaster.

Civil Defence in New Zealand has evolved a lot since then, and we have a lot of good procedures in place to identify buildings that would be best suited to looking after the community during a disaster. These buildings aren't always the ones with the Civil Defence signs at the front.

What are we doing with the signs?

These signs have been around for a long time, but not many people know what they mean.  The buildings they identify may no longer be used by Civil Defence in the event of an emergency. Depending on the type and location of an emergency, Civil Defence has identified a number of buildings that are best suited to be used to look after the needs of the community. So to avoid confusion, we are going to remove these signs.

How do I know where to go during an emergency?

During an emergency, Civil Defence will be broadcasting messages to the community. These messages will let you know what you need to do, and where you can go to be safe.

There are a number of ways you can find out where your nearest centre has been set up:

  • Listen to your local radio station. Click here to find the frequencies in your area
  • Call your local Council. Click here to find out the contact information for your local council.
  • Visit this website or your local Council website
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
  • Chat to your neighbours 
  • Talk to your local community response team

The best way to make sure you know where to go during an emergency is to make sure that you, your family, and your flatmates are prepared. Click here and see how quick and easy it is to make a household plan, and assemble an emergency survival kit.

For more information on the sign removal or how to be prepared for an emergency, contact your local Emergency Management Officer at your local Council.