Just over 2 weeks since the quake, and some things are returning to normal, some things will go on for months, even years from now. Parts of the CBD have been opened to residents to access homes, some with limited access due to safety. Other parts of the CBD are also hoped to be opened for access soon, but other parts of the CBD will be closed for some time yet.
It is hard to say how much longer my part will continue with the CD USAR Response Team work work, as there is still much to be done, but how much of the work can be returned to the normal services yet is uncertain. I am expecting that there will be at least a few more days to a week before we finish, and it will take a while to demobilise anyway.
Today I had a day off from CD USAR Response Team work, and had a good sleep. I also caught up with some friends at an old work place and saw some of the damage there, and hear their stories.
I spent some time at Red Cross again helping with some of their IT and Communications requirements and in some meetings.
It has been an honour to be involved in talks with and arranging meetings for the Google Crisis Response team to see how various functions are operating in the disaster response and to look at ideas of how they can help now and for future disaster events. These meetings have also involved other groups providing support to the disaster efforts via technology solutions.
Tonight as an almost return to normality is a monthly meeting of the local Amateur Radio Emergency Communications section, and we will spend some time on our stories and lessons learnt in our response in providing communications support to various agencies during the disaster response efforts. Our normal meeting place has been affected by the quake, and we will be meeting somewhere different, but it will be good to start to return to this almost normality.
It is also heart warming to hear of offers of assistance from the ICT Community to provide equipment and support for those in hospital after the affects of the quake, helping them to keep in touch with loved ones. Other news of support I caught on the news tonight is a donation from one philanthropist of $4M to assist in the rebuilding of the Cathedral. The Cathedral really is an iconic part of the identity of Christchurch, and hopefully it can be rebuilt to something very much like its former self.