Thread: New Zealand Earthquake
02-22-2011, 17:05 #1
- Mark Chow-Young
- Join Date
- Nov 1999
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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New Zealand Earthquake
This is a good opportunity to find out how prepared we are for disaster. The situation in Christchurch right now is no water, power, sewage, and limited phone service.
Much of Christchurch is without essential services after yesterday's earthquake with gas, power, water and phone infrastructure all affected by the 6.3-magnitude tremors.
Contact Energy turned off the gas supply to the city last night and was advising residents to turn off their mains connection.
The company will restore supply only when it is safe to do so, said spokeswoman Janet Carson.
Civil Defence reported freshwater and sewage pipes had cracked and water was pouring into the streets.
It is not known how many households are not connected to the water supply.
Both cellphone and fixed line telephone services struggled to shoulder the extra load yesterday as families and friends tried to contact one another after the earthquake.
The 111 emergency line was down immediately after the quake but service was restored when calls were diverted to a Wellington centre.
Power outages meant many landline calls in Christchurch could not be connected, putting extra strain on mobile networks.
Overloading and network congestion caused calls and texts around the country to fail, with local calls as far afield as Auckland reportedly cutting out. Eftpos services around the country were affected by the line congestion and clients were told to expect delays.
Telecom's head of external communications, Mark Watts, said the fixed line network was "holding up pretty well" but the mobile network could deteriorate overnight as cellphone towers around the region were running on back-up batteries after power failures.
The situation was much the same with Vodafone. Communications manager Matt East said eight sites out of 150 were down and 43 were disconnected from the power supply and running on back-up batteries.
"If we don't get the power back on they will go down and there might be patches [of Christchurch] without coverage," he said.
Telcos were advising the whole country to keep phone traffic to a minimum so emergency calls in Christchurch could connect.
When mobile networks overloaded, concerned family and friends used micro-blogging site Twitter to try to contact one another and gather information about their loved ones. The Twitter hashtag #eqnz, which users put on the end of their messages, meant news on the disaster was easily searchable.
Christchurch residents tweeted reports and photos of the devastated buildings after the quake struck.
Google set up a people-finding service, where internet users could register if they were safe and request information on friends.
2) here is the government of Canada's basic 72 hour emergency kit, I would say push that to 5 or 7 days.
Basic emergency kit
You may have some of these basic emergency kit items already, such as a flashlight, battery-operated radio, food, water and blankets. The key is to make sure they are organized, easy to find and easy to carry (in a suitcase with wheels or in a backpack) in case you need to evacuate your home. Whatever you do, don't wait for a disaster to happen.
Easy to carry – think of ways that you can pack your emergency kit so that you and those on your emergency plan can easily take the items with you, if necessary.
Water – two litres of water per person per day (Include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order)
Food – that won't spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (remember to replace the food and water once a year)
Manual can opener
Flashlight and batteries
Battery–powered or wind–up radio (and extra batteries)
First aid kit
Special needs items – prescription medications, infant formula or equipment for people with disabilities
Extra keys – for your car and house
Cash – include smaller bills, such as $10 bills (travellers cheques are also useful) and change for payphones
Emergency plan – include a copy of it and ensure it contains in–town and out–of–town contact information
Print this page or download the PDF version of the kit checklist (PDF 66KB). Check off the items for your 72–hour emergency kit as you accumulate them.
3) well we are all kitted out with our personal survival items, what about the rest of the family, do they know where everything is? We might be miles away at work when disaster strikes, do they have their own knives, whistles, flashlights etc, appropriate for their age and they do they know how to use all the supplies.
4) this might sound harsh but if it does get to day 3 or so and you and the family are enjoying spaghetti bolognese with a nice jug of water, don't let the neighbours know. There is no telling how nice your neighbour may seem what they might do when they get desperate.
Any other thoughts?Unleashing my inner bodyguard!
02-23-2011, 17:53 #2
- Dennis P. McGeehan
- Join Date
- May 2002
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When we got wiped out by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, we had no power, no water, no phones. Most people did the following: 1)Checked as best they could on the safety of immediate family and friends. 2) Checked on neighbors, especially elderly, to make sure they were OK. 3) People with ham/C.B. radios and portable generators served as local communicators. 4) Checked all rations currently on hand and began to decide how to best deal with the situation. When the power goes out, eat refrigerated and frozen food first. 5) The authorities rallied all EMS vehicles and asked for help from people with 4 wheel drive vehicles to facilitate transport. People showed up with chain saws to remove downed trees. Local farmers with tractors helped to clear roads, pull out vehicles and blockages from streams that threatened to make flooding worse. Civilians worked under the direction of professionals. 6) Local police enforced a curfew to prevent looting, civilians helped with Neighborhood Watch Groups.
We worked together (mostly) and came through it stronger. If you are not prepared before hand by having all the suggested equipment, that doesn't mean you have no resources. Most people have a weeks worth of food in their house at any given time here in the west. You also have tools and supplies that you just acquire through the years. And you can learn to do without a lot in a really bad situation.
DennisOnly a Cowardly Loser hurts an innocent, defenseless person.
Dennis P. McGeehan