Evacuations can be voluntary or mandatory. In the event of an eruption the public may be encouraged to evacuate from, or refrain from entering, high risk areas (such as Egmont National Park) prior to any declaration of a state of local emergency.
In most emergencies people are better off staying in their own homes (“sheltering in place”), however evacuations may occur when it is, or may be, dangerous to shelter in place.
Evacuations authorised by the Civil Defence will be led by NZ Police supported by the New Zealand Fire Service and road-controlling agencies.
At Alert Levels 1 and 2, (minor volcanic unrest), it is anticipated that Civil Defence, NZ Police, NZ Fire Service and the NZ Transport Agency will have sufficient time to develop and implement a detailed evacuation plan based on information provided by GNS Science.
For planning purposes the Taranaki region has been split into four evacuation zones
Mt Taranaki volcanic evacuation zones
||This zone, including Egmont National Park, comprises the area most at risk from life threatening hazards. People who remain in this zone are unlikely to survive.
||This zone includes the area over which significant ground based flows would extend. Orange Zone will be evacuated in anticipation of a significant local eruption once the evacuation of Red Zone is underway. Some people who remain in this zone may not survive.
||This zone is not generally at risk from life threatening hazards. It will however be subjected to varying degrees of ash deposits. The need to evacuate this area will be determined by the severity of the eruption and its disruptive effects. This zone will be survivable, but conditions will be uncomfortable.
||It is considered that this zone is generally sheltered from volcanic activity except for ash fall. People in this zone will be a little uncomfortable but this zone is survivable. People in this zone will need to demonstrate individual and community resilience and manage response and recovery activities.