What a challenging time it has been for so many Kiwis these past few days with gale force winds and yet more rain on top of the flooding from the past fortnight.
Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the wind, flooding, slips, and other cyclone related mayhem.
With a national state of emergency having been declared, over 200,000 homes losing power, severe flooding and slips affecting Northland, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and West Auckland in particular, this storm is clearly a newsworthy event.
However, much of the reporting has been unnecessarily anxiety inducing – too focused on finding the most emotive adjectives or shot angles to describe the situation, instead of concentrating on communicating clear, concise information to those that in need.
Phil tracking the approaching Cyclone Gabrielle on Weather Watch
One thing that has warmed our hearts has been seeing the practical, generous and compassionate community action from our local group networks.
People have gone above and beyond to help and support each other in very challenging situations both during the storm and then in the clean up and solving problems arising from it.
This is what it’s all about – people, relationships, communities and supporting one another. So a big THANK YOU to our teams, our local group coordinators, and members who are serving their communities so well.
If you are already a member of a local VFF group and need assistance (or you’re able to help others) please let your local group know. There are sure to be people ready to lend a hand. People are going to need help for weeks, if not months, so it’s never too late to reach out.
And a reminder that joining a local group doesn’t mean you have to meet up in person (although time and again our members tell us this has been one of the most valuable and rewarding things they have ever done).
What being in a local group does mean is that you join tens of thousands of Kiwis in having access to local support and information via chat groups and regular local email communications and community newsletters with the option of meeting up in person.
Events like the cyclone and flooding are examples of why it’s good to have a close network of people around you to call on should you need help, ideally within walking distance. This past year we’ve been encouraging members in our local community groups to “Find Your Five” – learn more about this initiative in this 1 minute video.
So, if you’re part of a VFF network, please look out for one another and ask if you need help.