Formulating Disaster Recovery Plans for New Zealand: using a case study of the 1931 Napier Earthquake
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Worldwide, the risks from natural and technological hazards has been mounting at an accelerating rate, improvements in forecasting and warning systems have reduced deaths, however monetary losses from disasters are overwhelming (Burby, 2004). Pre event planning for recovery helps to resolve issues before a disaster so recovery is more efficient and effective. It also ensures that the window of opportunity can be used to implement hazard mitigation measures to reduce the vulnerability of the area with the aim of improving resilience for the next disaster. International case studies were examined, the Northridge earthquake being the most successful recovery while Hurricane Katrina the least. The recovery of the Napier 1931 earthquake was chosen as a New Zealand case study; to date this is the country's worst disaster. Overall the recovery of Napier was a success, shops were opened in temporary premises to keep the economy going and mitigation measures were included in the rebuilding. The earthquake has had important flow on effects on the way that disasters are managed in New Zealand. To create pre event plans in New Zealand legislation needs to be modified, including recovery plans and development of shortcuts to reduce some procedures which lengthen the recovery process. These plans need to take into account our national vulnerability as well as regional vulnerabilities.