Top tips for individuals

Earthquakes can be a huge disruption to family, home, work, and life – and recovery takes time. If you have been affected by the recent quake, here are some things that you can do, and some things the Earthquake Recovery Information Centre (ERIC) can help you with.

Employees

If you are unable to work because your employer is closed due to cordons being in place, they may be eligible for the Earthquake Support Subsidy to help cover your wages. If your employer is not eligible for the subsidy, you may qualify for other types of assistance from Work and Income.

There are a number of different types of support available, so if you need assistance but you’re not if you qualify, speak to a Ministry of Social Development representative.

Health and Welfare

It’s normal to experience stress and anxiety after major events, even if you don’t feel like your life has been seriously disrupted. Recovery can be a long and winding road, and it’s okay to ask for help.

Children often need extra support and care during recovery. It’s important to talk to them about their fears, answer their questions and help them understand what happened. Getting back to a predictable routine can help everyone recover. Watch for changes in their behaviour that may indicate they are struggling to cope, and consult experts if you aren’t sure what to do.

Make sure you’re also looking out for yourself. It is easy to distract from your own anxieties by focusing on others, but you are best able to support others when your needs are also being met. Options for support are:

Tenants

Your landlord or building owner has the primary responsibility for arranging a professional engineering assessment of your building and informing you of any issues. If the building is a risk to public safety or unsuitable to occupy, the landlord or building owner must inform the Council. If you have questions about your rights, contact Community Law for advice and support.

If you have been displaced from your home and need a place to stay, first contact your landlord or property manager to see if they have other properties available. If they don’t and you can’t stay with friends or family, contact the Ministry of Social Development to discuss your options.

Insurance and repairs

If you have private insurance, check your policy and consult your provider to see what is covered, as each provider may have different coverage. Make sure you document any damage before starting repairs, and keep a record of any work you pay for. The Earthquake Commission (EQC) and the Insurance Council New Zealand can help you file a claim. The deadline for Earthquake Commission claims is 14 February 2017.

For helpful information on repairing and rebuilding your home after the Hurunui / Kaidoura earthquake, see: Rebuild with Confidence - Building.govt.nz

Preparedness

Now is a good time to make sure that you are prepared for future events. Find out what you can do to prepare your home for an emergency. Make sure you and your family have an emergency kit in your home, and a plan for what to do in different situations. The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office provide more information on how you can get prepared for an emergency.

Further information and support

Contact our Earthquake Recovery Information Centre (ERIC) for support following the November 2016 Earthquakes.