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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Christchurch Shaken & Broken, but Standing Strong

Wow, what a few days, and there will be many more.

Being involved with the response has meant that I have been around the centre of town a bit, and like many others that have commented it is so surreal. It really is like a ghost town at the moment.

I have a few photos on Flickr

Heading home from a night shift at Response Team Rescue Base I was struck how grim things were as I passed through the CBD, but then on the other hand how things were ALMOST like normal as I passed through Riccarton and Upper Riccarton (lesser impacted than other suburbs) getting closer to home.

A number of shops were open, cars, people and even a few other cyclists were about. While the buses were not running I saw a couple of ladies at a bus stop looking as if they were wondering where the buses were ....

In my technology world I have been lucky at home in that we had minimal damage, and in fact we have not lost services, so have remained connected to the world by Social Media, and amazed with the support, the reporting, and even the changes that have occur ed after this event. Even the CCC has made the move to Twitter now.

In the response, especially the initial stages, we keep it simple, there is just no time to organise technology solutions, so a lot of what we do is paper based etc. While in general the mobile phone infrastructure has stayed up we have worked mainly with radio for various reasons, and this is where I have spent most of my efforts, helping with setting things up and manning the Response Team Rescue Base radios. Quite a few portable repeater systems have been put in place to supplement existing systems and to provide more capacity for the various response activities by many volunteers from Response Teams, Red Cross and LandSAR to name a few.

On the IT side we are starting to use more as systems are brought into place, and it is great to see efforts by CrisisCommons and others going into action to bring about various projects to help people during these trying times.

On a personal note, my thanks to all for the messages of support and best wishes, I am thankful that we have been very lucky and been spared, but sometimes feel a little guilty that we are so well off compared to others. Many in my extended family and friends have had severe damage to homes, but they are still with us.

My thoughts go out to the family and friends of those that have not been so lucky.

Stand Strong Christchurch, we will rebuild better than before, but it will take time to heal.


Julian said...

Fantastic work Steve, I and I'm sure many others really appreciate your hard work, skills, and dedication to the rescue and recovery effort. You are an awesome man with a big heart.

johna said...

Thanks for all your work, Steve.