Preparedness and resilience: how we respond to a future earthquake

Dec 1, 2016 | News

We’ve restocked our water and emergency supplies and refreshed our plans. With road closures we worked out that we might need to provide a bed to our non-Wellington workmates for a night or two if they aren’t able to walk all the way home to Paraparaumu. But if they do – they’ll have their walking shoes ready under their desks.

We’ve got each other’s cell numbers on our phones so we can stay in touch and let each other know we are safe – if we need to.

It worked out well for the few of us that had our lap tops already at home and were able to link into our emails and work files.

For those of us without our laptop, and presuming the internet is still up, have a home computer and know our ISP address and passwords, we can get into our emails that way. With a cloud based system like drop box we can also access our work folders.

We’ve made sure our cupboards and shelving are screwed to the wall and won’t fall on us.

What we’ve really appreciated is the flexibility to work from home when we’ve chosen to. This is helpful for allaying anxiety about coming into town given the damage to many of the buildings and ongoing aftershocks. It’s also helpful in building our resilience as workers – to get on and keep going wherever we are.

And we’re lucky – we still have roofs over our heads, unlike many of the people in Kaikoura.

What has your organisation done to prepare itself?

The Christchurch experience suggests that pre-planning for an earthquake is helpful yet there is evidence that, although awareness of earthquake danger is high in New Zealand, levels of preparedness are low.

In these shaky times good tenancy managers need to think about how you might get in touch with tenants to ensure their safety and well-being. Do they have emergency kits? Can you contact them if you don’t have a cloud based information storage system and can’t find names and addresses? And what about their emotional well-being in both the short and long term?

Here’s some useful information to help you think about being prepared.

Any CHA members who would like to share their business recovery and continuity plans with others would be most helpful:

Information for managers: Recovering from earthquakes.pdf

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