Update to families – Cyclone Gabrielle – 16 February

Dear all,

I’m really pleased to report that we have been able to contact all our services and people are safe and well.

We are still having trouble with communications but have heard from staff in Hastings, Napier, Wairoa and Gisborne and wherever possible those staff have been going to all our homes to check on people.

We are working closely with emergency services, health authorities and civil defence to make sure people have power, water, food, medication and other essential supplies. We are also moving extra supplies ourselves into those areas, when roads are opened. We know that when the wind drops, the rain stops and the waters recede there will still be much to do.

We are expecting the communications/phone reception to improve from late this afternoon (16 Feb) but have been advised to text rather than ring as the system will be quite overloaded. We suggest you do the same.

This has been terribly worrying for us all and local staff are doing their best to keep families informed. I want to pay tribute to our amazing staff who are juggling the impact of the cyclone on their own lives, friends and families while remaining committed to the people we support.

We will keep you updated,

Joan Cowan
Chief Operating Officer, Disability Services

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