Our 3-Step Escape Plan

  • First Escape Route
  • Second Escape Route
  • Meeting Place

Use this space to note any additional information about your escape plan, i.e. who will assist

Your checklist
  • Get low

    Smoke is poisonous and more deadly than flames.

    If you breathe smoke for more than a few breaths it can kill you.

  • Be fast

    A house fire can kill you in less than three minutes.

    Don't spend time trying to save possessions.

  • Close doors

    A closed door buys you time.

    It slows down the spread of fire, giving you more time to get to safety.

  • Get out - stay out!

    People have died by going back into a fire.

    Don't leave the meeting place to go back inside for any reason.

Otago Local Advisory Committee

Otago Local Advisory Committee - mihi mai rā.

Otago LAC committee in front of a fire appliance
Read more about the members of the Otago Local Advisory Committee.

Megan is the Director of Communications for University of Otago and holds a role on the Incident Management and Pandemic Planning group for the University. Previously she had roles on the Medical Council of New Zealand, worked with British Airways in London and Presbyterian Support Otago. Megan grew up in South Otago and has lived in Dunedin for over 20 years.
HELEN ALGAR (Deputy Chair)
Helen is the Community Development Facilitator for Waitaki District Council and Director and Deputy Chair of Waitaki District Health Services. She is also an Executive Committee Member for Waitaki Multicultural Council and on the Board of Age Concern Otago. Previously Helen was on the CCS Disability Action National Board and the Otago and Southern District Health Boards. Helen received the Queen's Service Medal in 2008 for services to health and disability issues. She was appointed an ambassador for White Ribbon New Zealand in June 2018.

Based in Cromwell, Des works with a consulting company that has connections throughout New Zealand’s Forestry sector. He is a life member of the Mataura Rugby Club, previous Chairman of Southern Rural Fire Authority and New Zealand Chairman of Enlarged Rural Fire District. Des was awarded a MNZM in the Queen’s Birthday honours for his services to Fire and Emergency.


Hilary recently served as Councillor for Clutha District Council and is committed to many organisations in the community including Owaka Going Forward, Catlins Coast, Catlins Medical Centre, Catlins Promotions, and others. She has previously held the role of Chair of Telford Farm Board of Management, Farm Board representative of Telford Rural polytechnic, President of NZ Coopworth Sheep Breeders Society and President of Rural Women New Zealand, South Otago and Otago.


Mandy is Deputy Chair of Keep Dunedin Beautiful and holds roles in many community groups. She is an events coordinator and currently working with Civil Defence and Red Cross to organise emergency training in the community. Mandy is also an elected member of Waikouaiti Coast Community Board.
Michelle is the Tumuaki of Te Huka Matauraka at the University of Otago and works across multiple committees as well as being an active hapū member of her rūnanga. Previously she was the Manager of Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou and is director and owner of a fishing company. Michelle has served on many boards and committees and is known in the area for her support across the community, including her role in the Emergency Response Otago team.
Neil is currently Deputy Mayor for Central Otago District Council. He is also a Community Relations Project Manager with Contact Energy, and Chief Fire Officer with the Cromwell Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Vanessa is the Director of Admin & Business Solutions and has an extensive amount of governance experience as a Chair, and as an independent Director. Vanessa is a member of the Institute of Directors and is a Chair for several organisations including Queenstown Lakes Baby Box Trust, Shaping our Future Inc, and Pivotal Point. Vanessa was elected to the Queenstown District Lakes as a Councillor in 2007, before serving as Mayor in 2010-2016. She was then appointed by the Minister of Transport as a Board Member for Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency in 2017-2019. Vanessa was awarded an ONZM at the 2017 New Year’s Honours for her services to Local Government. 
Rachel has a background in environmental science and climate change, and currently works as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Carbon Neutral Government Programme at the Ministry for the 

Environment. She also holds board memberships for Protect our Winters Aotearoa. Rachel was selected as an influential female leader in the international science community and awarded a Homeward Bound Leadership Programme Fellowship in 2018. 

The map below shows the area that the Otago LAC covers (shown in dark blue).