Wellington after the Quake: The Challenge of Rebuilding Cities Booklet
The theme of this conference was recovery — the challenge of rebuilding cities after a disaster. Emergency management needs to look beyond the emergency response phase. It should examine the restoration of the affected region, including its services and facilities and the lives of its resident and working population. After the big quake in Wellington, central government functions would be jeopardised, an economic crisis might arise, vital national transport exchanges would be severely hampered, business, industry and tourism would be severely disrupted and stress would extend far beyond the boundaries of the Wellington region. Recovery is a very long process and needs to be considered and planned for in the pre-impact period, together with planning for the immediate response and mitigation. Knowledge of the mechanisms and procedures of recovery is a relatively new area of disaster research. However, recent attention to the vulnerability of physical utilities, although addressed to the response phase, has also been invaluable in increasing our awareness of what might be involved in reconstruction. There is increased understanding of the potential problems that must be considered and resolved before the disaster strikes a community or region. Only by using this in recovery planning will it be possible to act effectively to reduce human suffering, minimise economic loss and disruption in the private sector, and restore some normality to the affairs of the nation.