What you need to know

Last updated 14:03 07/03/2011

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Christchurch earthquake

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Information on essential services in Christchurch and where you can donate money to help those affected by the quake.

» Click here to report on services or damage, and see a map of available services.
» Click here to request help from the Student Volunteer Army in Christchurch.
» Click here if you are a business who needs IT help, or one that wants to provide it.

ACC COMPENSATION

ACC has prepared specific information packs on entitlements for those who were injured or had suffered the loss of loved ones.
 
It may include funeral grants, survivors' grants, childcare assistance, income compensation and assistance for the injured.

Further information was also available at http://www.acc.co.nz/making-a-claim/canterbury-earthquake/index.htm.

WORKPLACE ADVICE

Employers and employees should go to www.dol.govt.nz/quake/ for health and safety advice.

RUBBISH COLLECTION

Normal kerbside collection for the red and green bins continues this week. Rubbish can be placed in both the green and red bins. If your street is closed or restricted, take your bin outside that area. Recycling will resume on Monday.

WATER

Water is a serious concern. Water has been restored to 78 per cent of households. Tankers are delivering water to areas without supply. You can also collect hand sanitiser or facemasks from the tankers.

You can expect water supply to be intermittent for the next two to three weeks.

Remember to boil all water before drinking.

Chlorination of the city's water supply began yesterday throughout central Christchurch.

Water tankers remain in the same positions.

If you have mains water supply and your property appears undamaged and without siltation, you can use showers sparingly and flush your toilet ("If it's yellow, let it mellow, if its brown, flush it down.").

If there are any signs of blockage or overflow, stop flushing as this may be an indication of damaged pipes.

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If water is not available, conserve water and do not shower, take baths or flush toilets. If water cannot be boiled, add one teaspoon of bleach to 10 litres of water and leave it for 30 minutes.

The Christchurch City Council will advise when it is no longer necessary to boil or treat tap water. If it rains, collect water in buckets.

Clean water is being distributed from many schools and Cowles Stadium.

A portable shower block is being brought in and will be deployed at a yet to be confirmed site.

TOILETS

People who do not have flushing toilets are to use a bin or bucket lined with two plastic bags, or latrines dug in the garden. Cover the bin between uses.

Human waste should be wrapped and placed into the red rubbish bin.

As of yesterday, 1100 portaloos had been distributed in priority areas across the city.

Another 62 from around the country were expected to arrive in the city today and 960 are en route from the United States.

Around 1700 chemical toilets were delivered to eastern areas yesterday and 3500 more are expected next week with another 20,000 to follow.

An after-hours line for urgent portable toilet servicing is available from 5pm to 8am on 941 8999.

MISSING PEOPLE

Call 0800 733 276 or 0800 RED CROSS. For enquiries from outside New Zealand: 0064 7 850 2199

You can also check the Christchurch earthquake person finder.

Photographs of missing people may help speed up the identification of bodies, the Chief Coroner's office says.

A spokesman said worried family and friends should provide information to the main Red Cross number of 0800 733276 about:

* distinguishing features, tattoos or marks on a person's body;

* clothes they might have been wearing;

* jewellery, especially distinctive pieces.

Anything could be helpful, including a last known location, the spokesman said.

The New Zealand Dental Association president John Bell said there was concern that relatives who feared they may have lost loved ones in the Christchurch tragedy may be contacting dental practitioners for their records.

He said it is important to understand that these records are extremely important in the identification process. These records will only be given to police.

PETROL

Christchurch will not run out.

Christchurch will escape the rising petrol prices coming into effect around New Zealand today. The price for 91 octane is at a two-year high of $2.07, but oil companies are sparing Christchurch the five cents a litre rise.

SUPERMARKETS

Supermarkets are well-stocked.

New Worlds at Redcliffs and St Martins will not be reopening.

The following are open:

New Worlds in Ashburton, Bishopdale, Fendalton, Halswell, Lincoln, Northwood, Rangiora, Rolleston and Stanmore Rd.

Pak 'n Saves in Moorhouse Ave, Wainoni, Riccarton, Northlands and Hornby.

Four Squares in Amberley, Ashburton, Burnham, Cheviot, Culverden, Darfield, Hanmer Springs, Hawarden, Methven, Rakaia, Southbridge and Waikari.

Countdowns in Avonhead, Hornby, Bush Inn, Church Corner, Northlands, Kaiapoi, Moorhouse Ave, Northwood, Rangiora and Ashburton.

SuperValue Lincoln Rd, Fendalton, Edgeware and Wairakei.

FreshChoice Barrington, Parklands and Merivale.

SURFACE WATER

Assume that river, seawater and any other surface water are contaminated with sewage and avoid all contact.

Basic functionality has been established at the Bromley Waste Water Treatment Plant.

People should stay away from and not swim, fish or gather shellfish in the sea, Canterbury rivers or any standing water until notified that it is safe.

People who have sewage contamination within their homes should move out.

HELP WITH CLEANING UP

People can report damage and find out what's open in their neighbourhood via http://eq.org.nz and the Student Volunteer Army are working with the site to help people shift rubble, clear driveways and whatever help is needed.

BUILDING DEMOLITION

Do not demolish buildings without following due process.

Building owners should contact the emergency operations centre before demolishing buildings – even if the building is badly damaged. Call 03 941 8999.

Approval is needed from the National Controller. This is particularly important for heritage buildings.

URGENT BUILDING REPAIRS

Fletchers Building is providing emergency repairs to make homes liveable.

Homeowners who require emergency repairs can lodge a claim with the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and say they need urgent attention. They will then be contacted by Fletchers.

People can also get their own contractors to do repairs up to the value of $2000 and provide invoices to EQC.

For more information or to lodge a claim call 0800 326243.

ACCOMMODATION

Housing New Zealand is providing temporary accommodation. If you have accommodation you can offer, or you are looking for help with accommodation, contact 0800 HELP 00 (435700), visit www.housinghelp.govt.nz, or go to one of the welfare centres. Visit www.quakeescape.org.nz and quakemap.net to find temporary accommodation.

Four welfare centres are open – Pioneer Stadium, Burnside High School, Windsor School and Rangiora Baptist Church.

However, Burnside, Windsor and Rangiora are to close with affected people to be offered alternative accommodation.

Pioneer Stadium will be maintained as he only centre operating 24 hours, seven-days-a-week and can house up to 600 people.

A new welfare centre has been established at the old Sumner School in Wiggins St after 200 homes in the Clifton-Redcliffs area were evacuated on Monday.

A business hours drop-in centre has been set up at the Kaiapoi Community Centre Earthquake Hub in Sewell St, Kaiapoi.

HOSPITALS/MEDICAL CENTRES

All hospitals are operating, but call your GP first unless it is an emergency.

If you need an ambulance, phone 111.

If your GP's clinic is not open, a nurse will answer your call and direct you to one that is open.

If you cannot contact your GP or if you do not have a GP, contact the Pegasus 24-hour medical centre at Bealey Ave on 3657777, the Riccarton Clinic at Riccarton Rd on 3433661, or Moorhouse Medical at Moorhouse Ave on 3657900.

Prescriptions and GP visits for those with urgent medical needs are free until March 6.

All elective surgery (public and private) in Christchurch is postponed until Monday at the earliest. Alternative arrangements are being made for non-deferrable surgery.

The Bealey Ave after-hours clinic is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, while the Moorhouse Medical Centre and the Riccarton Clinic are open daily from 8am to 8pm.

The Rural GP practice in Kaiapoi has a 24-hour service for patients in Christchurch who are not able to access their own GP.

All rural GPs are open.

People with orthopaedic injuries can go to the hospital's outpatient department.

The new health information website is www.healthinfo.org.nz.

DEMENTIA SUPPORT SERVICES

Alzheimers Canterbury is offering limited support services to assist residents of Christchurch affected by dementia.  Call 0800 004 001.

SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES

Around 19 primary schools will re-open later this week or early next week.

Universities, schools and early-childhood centres in Christchurch are closed until further notice. Parents should contact their school for further information.

Updates are available at www.minedu.govt.nz.

Parents are able to immediately enrol their children at Te Kura Pounamu, The Correspondence School. Call 0800 65 99 88 or visit www.correspondence.school.nz.

The ministry's traumatic incident service can be contacted on 0800 848 326, while schools and early-childhood staff wanting information can call 0800 225 580.

Lincoln University will reopen for semester one/lectures on March 14. Staff are able to return from today. Visit www.lincoln.ac.nz.

Canterbury University is shut until further notice. Visit www.canterbury.ac.nz.

CPIT is closed until at least March 14. Visit www.cpit.ac.nz.

Aoraki Polytechnic is closed until further notice. Visit www.aoraki.ac.nz.

University of Otago Christchurch Campus is closed until further notice. Visit www.otago.ac.nz

POWER

A water contractor has smashed through a major underground cable in Christchurch, leaving the southern suburbs on back-up power and nearly killing himself twice in the process.

Residents in southern Christchurch are being urged to conserve power after the accident.

Power has been restored to 96 per cent of the city, not including the CBD. In the CBD 50 per cent of power is off, electricity company Orion said on Sunday.

If your power has been disrupted, turn off electrical appliances to avoid safety issues when it is restored.

FIRE BAN

A total fire ban is in place for all of Canterbury, including South Canterbury and Ashley rural fire districts, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Selwyn, Ashburton, Christchurch city, and the Department of Conservation's Canterbury Conservancy.

GAS

You can fill 9kg cylinders at: Butler Automart, Challenge Opawa, Caltex Main North Rd, Caltex Lincoln Rd, Challenge Halswell, Challenge Spreydon, Challenge Lincoln, Caltex Cranford St, Rockgas Byron St, Bishopdale, Blighs Rd, Caltex Blenheim Rd, Caltex Riccarton Rd, Caltex Russley, BOC Gases Epsom Rd, BOC Gases Sockburn and Mondo Vino in Lyttelton.

The Elgas 9kg Swap 'n' Go service is available through Shell service stations, excluding Barrington St, Shirley, Linwood Ave, New Brighton and Lancaster (east end of Moorhouse Ave), which are closed.

Elgas household and business deliveries are being made where access is possible.

FLIGHTS

All international and domestic flights are operating, but check with the airline first.

The Christchurch International Airport has free wireless internet in the terminals. Phone 0800568369.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Environment Canterbury is starting limited Metro bus and ferry services in greater Christchurch from tomorrow. They will operate free for two weeks.

Limited services will be offered for northern routes and for western/southern routes between 7am and 7pm seven days a week. Eastern surburbs will be serviced by Metrostar, the No60 service and the Orbiter.

The northern services will operate from a terminus on Bealey Ave (between Durham St North and Montreal St). The western and southern services will operate from a terminus near Christchurch Hospital (on Hagley Ave between St Asaph St and Riccarton Ave).

A shuttle will operate between the terminus near Christchurch Hospital and Bealey Ave so people can transfer between routes.

See metroinfo.co.nz

MIGRANT HELP

If you are a recent migrant or newly arrived in Christchurch and need support, call Settlement Support 0800 776948 (0800 SSNZ4U) between 7.00am -10.00pm or email settlementinformation@dol.govt.nz.

Note: Settlement Support does not handle Visa inquiries.  For all Visa and Immigration inquiries, please call the Immigration New Zealand national call centre on 0508 558 855.

ASSISTANCE IN OTHER LANGUAGES

The following numbers can all provide assistance in 41 languages. Simply call the number and when it is answered, ask for Language Line and the language you require.

Red Cross - 0800 733 276 (from outside NZ call +64 7 850 2199 )
The Government Helpline - 0800 77 9997
ACC Claims - 0800 101 996
Christchurch City Council - 03 941 8999
Work and Income - 0800 559 009
Child, Youth & Family - 0508 326 459
Housing New Zealand Corporation - 0800 801 601
Earthquake Commission - 0800 326 243
Inland Revenue - 0800 227 774
Healthline - 0800 611 116
Business helpline - 0800 424 946
Federated Farmers helpline - 0800 327 646

POSTAL SERVICES

NZ Post mail deliveries have reached 60 per cent of the city, mainly in the northern and western suburbs.

Nearly half of the city's PostShop/Kiwibank stores are open.

About 80 per cent of PO boxes will be operational by tomorrow, although some of these, including those in the CBD will be relocated. Box lobbies in Armagh St, Victoria St, High St and Cashel St will move to Christchurch Mail Centre, 145 Orchard Rd, until further notice.

Mail will be available at the business mails counter for customers to collect from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Visit www.nzpost.co.nz for updates.

PHONE SERVICES

Keep cellphone use to a minimum, especially voice calls and data. If you must use your cellphone, send text messages.

Christchurch's 111 service has been diverted to Wellington.

Telecom payphones in Christchurch are free to use.

Vodafone is selling SIM cards, mobile phones, vodems and chargers from a truck at Homebase on Marshland Rd, Shirley. It also has phones for free calling. It is open from 9am to 5pm and will be there until at least Friday.

SERVICE CENTRES AND RATES

All Christchurch City Council service centres are closed.

Residents are not required to pay their rates as usual.

Rates can be paid at a later date, which has not yet been confirmed. No penalties will apply.

ROADS

For information, call AA on 0800500444 or visit the AA Roadwatch site, http://maps.aa.co.nz/traffic/roadwatch.

CORDONS

No-one is allowed to enter the central business district until further notice. Outside the 6pm-6am curfew for the four avenues access is allowed for only registered contractors. Also those wanting access must go to the corner of Moorhouse Ave and Montreal St for instructions.

LAUNDRY

Fisher and Paykel have set-up free laundry facilities, including washing powder, at the corner of Berswick and Charles St, Kaiapoi (call or text Dave on 021 995 973) and at 79 Shands Rd, Hornby (open 8.30am to 4pm weekends and 8am to 4pm weekdays).

HELPLINES

The Government's 24-hour helpline is 0800779997. It is available for information on any government service.

Healthline is available on 0800611116.

The business owners helpline is 0800424946.

For information on the Earthquake Commission's insurance cover, cleaning up and making an EQC claim, call 0800 DAMAGE (326243).

For assessment of major structural damage to your home or business premises or for help with essential council services such as water supply or sewage disposal, contact the Christchurch City Council on 9418999.

Information, advice and contacts for Canterbury farmers are available weekdays from 8.30am to 5pm by calling the Federated Farmers helpline on 0800 FARMING (327646).

More information is available on www.trademe.co.nz.

PLUNKET

Plunket New Zealand says Christchurch families concerned about their child's health or wellbeing should call PlunketLine on  0800 933 922.

ANIMALS

Lost and found pet advertisements are at www.petsonthenet.co.nz and www.trademe.co.nz. The SPCA is unable to offer its usual track-a-pet service.

For lost pets, call the SPCA on 349 7057 ext. 201 or 205 between 9am and 4pm. Outside these hours call 366 3886.

If you have lost a dog, call animal control on 021 240 8310.

For serious concerns about animals within the city cordon, call the Christchurch City Council on 941 8999.

The after-hours veterinary clinic has returned to its Disraeli St site. (ph 366 1052). The centre's hours are 7pm to 8am weekdays and 12pm Saturday to 8am Monday.

The council's animal shelter at 10 Metro Pl, Bromley, is offering temporary care for dogs whose owners are at welfare centres. Call 021 240 8310.

COURTS

Court buildings in Christchurch remain closed until further notice. Jury service is suspended.

Interim arrangements remain in place to hold District Court services essential to support law and order.

Registry functions for the High Court in Christchurch will be undertaken out of the High Court in Wellington.

ARE YOU READY?

Ensure that you have an emergency survival kit and work out where the best place is to store it.

Identify safe places in your home or workplace - such as under tables or beside walls - where you can quickly get to when a quake hits.

Check your household insurance policy for cover and amount.

Discuss ways to get in touch with family, and plan for reuniting.

Arrange authorised people to collect children from school and provide the school with a list of these people.

Establish a meeting place in case your house becomes unusable or family members are separated.

Allocate tasks for those at home, such as turning off power, checking on neighbours.

Do a first aid course.

Know where your nearest civil defence centre is.

IF A QUAKE HITS ...

Whether inside or outside you should stop, drop to the ground and cover your head with your hands.

If inside a building, try to get under a doorway or table, but only if it is less than two metres away, so you are not hit by falling debris.

If driving, immediately pull over and stop.

If you are at the beach or near the coast, immediately after the quake move to higher ground in case a tsunami follows.

If in a damaged building, try to get outside and find a safe, open place.

If there is a smell of gas or electrical sparks or broken wires can be seen, try to turn off gas and power at the mains.

Listen to the radio for information and advice.

Do not go sightseeing to look at the damage that the earthquake has caused.

If your property is damaged, take notes and photographs for insurance purposes.

HOW TO HELP

You can donate to victims of the earthquake at:

The Salvation Army: Freephone 0800530000; online at www.salvationarmy.org.nz; or by post:

The Salvation Army, PO Box 27001, Marion Square, Wellington, 6141. Mark correspondence: "Canterbury Earthquake Appeal".

Any ANZ Bank: Account number 01-1839-0188939-00.

Any National Bank: Account number 06-0869-0548507-00.

Any BNZ Bank: Account number: 02-0500-0982004-000

Any ASB: Account number 12-3205-0146808-00

The Auckland University Students Association street appeal outside its Student Union building.

BEWARE OF SCAMS

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is warning reporting scammers are already using the Christchurch earthquake to take advantage of the good will of New Zealanders.

It says emails are being sent out from "James McCoy", claiming to be from "Donate4CharityNZ", using a legitimate UK-based charity's organisation name and website address.

The email encourages people to receive donated funds into their bank account from overseas for a 10 percent cut.

The Ministry says this is a scam, and anyone who receives these emails should report them to them at Scamwatch, delete the emails and do not reply.

ATMS, BANKS

The following are open, but may not be able to offer all usual services:

BNZ (as at 8am Monday 7 March): South City Centre, Christchurch Airport, BNZ Upper Riccarton, BNZ Sydenham, BNZ Ashburton, Riccarton Mall, Barrington Mall, Merivale Mall, BNZ Rangiora, Christchurch International Airport Check in, BNZ Riccarton Drive Through, Northlands Pak n Save, Ashburton New World, BNZ Papanui, BNZ Ferrymead, Shell Belfast, Shell Carlton Corner, Shell Kaiapoi, Stanmore New World, Northlands Mall, Shell Carmen Road, Rolleston New World, BNZ Akaroa, Northwood Supa Centre, BNZ Hornby, BNZ Leeston, Halswell New World, Canterbury University, Hanmer Springs, Wainoni Pak N Save, Rangiora New World, Belfast New World, Bishopdale New World, Moorehouse Ave Pak N Save, BNZ Kaiapoi, BNZ Riccarton, BNZ Rolleston Branch, Lincoln New World, Pegasus Town Convenience Centre, Christchurch International Airport Arrivals, Parklands Fresh Choice, Kaiapoi OTS Express.

ANZ/National Bank: Woolston, Addington, Hornby (both ANZ and National branches), Upper Riccarton, Ashburton (both ANZ and National branches), Geraldine, Rangiora, and Kaiapoi.

ASB: Hornby, Northlands, Papanui, Riccarton Mall and Ashburton.

Westpac: Ashburton, Rangiora, Amberley, Merivale, Bishopdale, Lincoln, Fendalton Mall, Riccarton, Halswell, Kaiapoi, Upper Riccarton, Hornby Mall and Papanui.

Kiwibank/PostShops: Allenton, Amberley, Ashburton, Avonhead, Darfield, Edgeware, Halswell, Leeston, Lincoln, Oxford, Papanui, Parklands, Phillipstown, Tower Junction and Rangiora.

SBS: Papanui and Riccarton

Information about ATMs is available on each bank's website.

The Following BNZ banks are open from Monday 7 March: Christchurch Hospital 10:30 to 15:30, Ferrymead 09:00 to 4:30, Rolleston 09:00 to 16:30, Akaroa  09:00 to 16:30, Upper Riccarton 09:00 to 16:30, Riccarton 09:00 to 16:30, Papanui 09:00 to 16:30, Rangiora 09:00 to 16:30, Kaiapoi 09:00 to 16:30, Hornby 09:00 to 16:30, Leeston 09:00 to 17:00

REPLACEMENT CARDS (Licences, credit cards etc)

The New Zealand Transport Agency is issuing free replacement driver licences. Immediate three-month exemptions are available for those who need to operate outside their licence's normal conditions. This is particularly for restricted licence holders who need to carry passengers or who need to drive at night (ie. nurses, civil defence staff). Call 0800108809.

- Stuff, The Press

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