After two devastating earthquakes trashed the New Zealand city of Christchurch, those who survived have had to develop unique ways of dealing with the aftermath.
We can take some lessons from them – as long as the Internet is still functioning.
“Canterbury University senior marketing lecturer Dr Ekant Veer says the virtual world became a source of great support for the real-world community.
“In the immediate aftermath, particularly of the February earthquake, there were pressing problems for Cantabrians – finding drinking water, deliveries of port-a-loos, checking on family.
“In the following weeks and months, the urgency of the disaster wore off, the panic began to fade and people started to get worn down. Endless roadworks, longer commutes and increasing numbers of demolitions began to take their toll.
“Veer says while people turned to each other for support, they did not turn to their neighbor or their church. As products of the 21st century’s reliance on technology, they went on-line.
“People used to congregate as a community,” he says. “But after the earthquake, they were too scared to go out and the buildings they would usually congregate in [town halls, churches etc] were damaged or destroyed.”
“People stayed in their homes but still wanted current information, conversations with others, and a feeling of belonging despite physical separation.
“Up sprang a range of community Facebook pages offering support, information, identity and community. Trapped in their own suburbs, afraid to go out, or embarrassed to ask for help, people developed and grew the on-line communities.
“For those feeling isolated, the anonymity of social media allowed them to ask groups like the Student Volunteer Army to help them clear liquefaction from their driveway – a support function previously performed by neighbors or church groups.
“On-line communities were also used to motivate people and mobilize large groups. After the quake it was used to gather an army of silt-movers. Now, it is being used to kick start real-life protests against zoning decisions and government intervention in the rebuild.”
Hopefully, this article from New Zealand will give those who are preparing ahead of time for future earthquakes some idea of what a post-quake worldscould be like. Initially, it may be necessary to go to a local shelter – IF you have not been well prepared with food and water set by.
But eventually, we’ll find ourselves having to look after ourselves, because even though we might think that government services are going to come to the rescue, here in the U.S. it has been made very clear that we should not expect anyone to arrive for at least three weeks.
Further – we cannot guarantee that the Internet will still be functioning. And even if it is, you’re very unlikely to be able to order pizza on line…or anything else.
Therefore, knowings one’s neighbors (those who are likely to be helpful and those who might not) is very important.
So too is having a good wind-up or solar powered radio, as well as your emergency rations and water. And don’t forget a reasonable stash of tools, tarps, a shovel and a toilet seat for a bucket.
Check us out online at www.getreadyportland.com, or come visit us at the store.
The Portland Preparedness Center.
7202 NE Glisan St
(Cnr 72nd and Glisan).
Open 10 – 6 Mon – Sat
Ph 503 252 2525
PS – Here’s sticking the neck way out….we have a report today from a trusted source that says there will be major storms soon- possibly starting this Fall. Which oddly coincides with the National Weather Service deciding to name all big storms this year, just as they do with hurriczanes. But we’re talking winds beyond anything we might be accustomed to in the Pacific Northwest.
What sort of power outages and downed trees and travel problems will that cause?
Do you have a get-home bag (72hr kit) in your vehicle just in case? This is our newest and best, fully stocked with emergency water, food rations and much more.