Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Civil Defence Bunker down, we're all DOOMED!!

It's probably 15 years since I was last in the famed Civil Defence Centre that's underneath the Beehive. You know the one - it's where the government retire to in the event of the Big One, so that they can govern the country in safety. Or something like that.

Nats call for inquiry into Civil Defence power lapse - Stuff.co.nz

But anyway...

I was disappointed that the place was like a tramping hut, bunks, rudimentary cooking facilities (& PCs bolted to the desks so that they survive earthquakes.) No high tech communications, the PCs weren't even networked, no big screen from which to monitor the catastrophe through satellite images. Of course, it may well have changed since then.

One thing I remember the Civil Defence fellow telling us, which doesn't seem to have been imparted to Helen & John, is that this bunker exists in order to manage the aftermath of a disaster that occurs outside of Wellington.

Think about it, if (or when) the Big One comes, do you really think Civil Defence staff will be able to dig their way through the rubble of the collapsed Beehive? The CD guy showing us around was scornful of the chances of that.

No, apparently (and I am prepared to be corrected if this is wrong or has changed) there exists another Civil Defence bunker somewhere in Auckland, possibly it's above ground, that's the one to be used in the event of a disaster befalling the Capital.

Nat MP Hone Carter (remember him?) said, through a hole in his head:

"It's not acceptable that there's a gap. This is our civil defence emergency headquarters that we are talking about here. These guys should be able to respond immediately."

The place isn't even staffed around the clock as far as I know. Hone's as full of wind as he always has been.