Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain Language Website — Public Sector

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

Congratulations to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on being a finalist


Judges’ comments

This important website is designed to teach people what to do before, during, and after a national emergency. We found that the menus, headings, and navigation are easy to understand so the reader can jump easily to the right location. Well done!

The tone is friendly and supportive, and the font used is easy to read. We were also very pleased to see you have paid great attention to make sure the website is easily accessible for everyone. Including those who are deaf and speakers of other languages.

Overall, this website is a great example of effective plain language writing and information design. Good work!

Media statement

Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. It’s up to individuals, whānau, and communities to get ready. We know that knowledge of how to prepare for an emergency is a barrier for people, and our research shows that many people aren’t sure how to get ready.

We’ve designed  to be a one-stop shop for emergency preparedness information. The website covers the basics of how to prepare your home, whānau, and community for an emergency. Being prepared can be life saving when an emergency happens. That’s why it is important that the website is accessible for everyone, and easy to understand.

When we first launched the website in 2019, we worked hard to achieve this. But recently we decided to fix some of the gaps. We have worked hard over the last year to improve the accessibility and usability of the website. This work has included:

  • translating the website into 14 different languages
  • adding alternate formats, and
  • rewriting the website into plain language.

Rewriting the website in plain language was the foundation for the other accessibility improvements. We made sure that our content was in plain language first so that all our translations and alternate formats would be as user friendly.

The National Emergency Management Agency is proud to be a finalist in this year’s Plain Language Awards.


Zsenai Logan
Senior Communications Advisor
National Emergency Management Agency Te Rākau Whakamarumaru