25 Apr 2007

Cooks to assess its disaster preparedness

5:01 pm on 25 April 2007

Emergency services in the Cook islands are to conduct an exercise testing the country's preparedness for cycloness.

Dubbed 'Akapapaanga Kuki Airani' or Preparing the Cook Islands, will be staged on Thursday Cook Islands time from 6am to 3pm.

The deputy police commissioner, Ma'ara Tetava, who his heading the exercise, says 20 agencies will be involved.

There will also be advice to emergency management Cook Islands from the Pacific geoscience commission's disaster risk management programme, the New Zealand ministry of civil defence and emergency management Australia.

Deputy commission Tetava says a scenario of a real cyclone striking the country will be created.

"The whole purpose of the exercise is really to practise our response and co-ordination to affected communities during cyclones or other natural or man made disasters and to identify areas that need strengthening in co-ordination and response, and really to test our standard operating procedures."