Emergency Management Southland activates support centre

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Emergency Management Southland is ensuring Southlanders have the support they need during the Covid-19 lockdown.

EMS has activated an 0800 number, email address and website contact so Southlanders can access support, group controlled Angus McKay said.

New Zealand is at Alert Level 4 of the Covid-19 Response, which means everyone not involved in essential work needs to stay at home.

Education facilities have closed, as have non-essential businesses.

Supermarkets, pharmacies and clinics, and lifeline utilities are some of the essential services which remain open.

“This will save lives. You must stay home,” Mr McKay said.

The Southland Emergency Co-ordination Centre has been preparing for an increase in welfare needs in the region and its contact points are up and running, as of this morning.

Mr 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.

The contact details are:

Phone: 0800 890 127

Email: covid19@cdsouthland.nz

Web: www.cdsouthland.nz

The email and 0800 number will be operated between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week.

EMS was developing a plan for the delivery of household goods and services around the region, Mr McKay said.

EMS welfare staff had 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.”

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.