Post-Earthquake Advice

Post-Earthquake Advice

What to do when you’re cleaning up

You’ll probably want to clean up any spillages and breakages straight away. To help the EQC or FMG assessor estimate the damage later on, you should try to:

  • take photographs of the damage before starting the clean up
  • keep all damaged goods and parts, except for perishable items (e.g. food from a broken freezer)
  • make a list of all perishables – and take photos – before disposing of them. Make sure you dispose of any perishable items safely.

Urgent or emergency repairs

After a natural disaster, you should do all that you can to safely make your home habitable and protect it from further damage.

Urgent or emergency repairs are things that need to be carried out to make your home safe, sanitary, secure and weather-tight.

For instance, you can get essential services like toilets and water systems repaired immediately, but you should keep, document or record everything the repairer replaces (and keep a copy of the bill).

Bear in mind that:

  • any reimbursement for temporary or urgent repairs is subject to EQC acceptance of a valid claim – and clients should keep any receipts/invoices etc
  • if accepted, the cost will be deducted from any total amount owed to you under EQC Cover
  • you should not start permanent repairs until your EQC claim has been settled.

For more information on EQC’s process click here.

Temporary accommodation

If your home is currently uninhabitable due to the recent earthquakes, flooding or high winds, please call us on 0800 366 466 to see how we can help support you and your family with temporary accommodation. 

To decide what counts as uninhabitable, ask yourself:

  • is your home safe and structurally stable?
  • Is your home secure against theft and outside elements (e.g. is it watertight?)
  • can your kitchen and bathroom be used?
  • can people sleep in your home?
  • is there water?
  • is there electricity?

This support falls under FMG's Household Contents policy to a maximum of $30,000. 

Uninhabitable employee houses may also be covered if they are included in an employment contract.

  • To a maximum of $20,000 or whatever higher amount is shown on their certificate.
  • If the loss is not insured elsewhere. So if the employee has cover under their own Household Contents policy they should access this prior to this policy kicking in. 

Water quality and supply

Post-earthquake, the quality of your water supply can have a major impact on your ability to do things such as milk your herd and keep your land irrigated.

Watch for sand and silt
Sand and silt in the milking shed system and water tank can cause damage to the impellors, which will cause major issues to your shed and could prevent you from being able to milk.

  • Check your water quality regularly for discolouration, sand and silt by filling a bucket from the bore head.
  • Flush the bore as much as possible, but not through the pump or pivot.
  • Open the bore head and run the water at approximately 10% capacity until the water runs clear.

Watch your pump for overload

Submersible pumps need water for cooling and your water levels may have dropped.

  • Be mindful of lower water levels with any throttling back.
  • Listen and feel for any vibration in your pump systems as this is often an indication of damage.
  • Only turn your pump on when you need it for irrigation, otherwise leave it off.
  • Get your switchboard and electrics checked for any overload or surge.
  • Check with your irrigation provider about what your system can handle.

Check your irrigator

Visually inspect your irrigators as they may have moved. Check they are sitting in their tracks—irrigators are often set up with a fine tolerance of clearance to sheds, trees and fences.

If your irrigator has fallen over during an earthquake or in high winds you should:

  • check that the power is off to the irrigation equipment as there is a large amount of power running through these machines.
  • call your irrigator repairer and advise them of the situation and lodge a claim with FMG.
  • NOT try to repair or put your irrigator back by yourself. This is could be dangerous to yourself and could result in more damage to their irrigator.

Irrigation New Zealand has also issued helpful advice, check out their website for more information.

Check farm bridges and infrastructure:

Experience from the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes revealed water lines and silos were susceptible to damage.

If a visual inspection reveals damage to bridges/culverts, then please contact FMG and/or a specialist for assistance. 

Animal welfare

For any concerns you have about your pets and animals, SPCA Canterbury can provide support and make deliveries of donated pet food.

SPCA Canterbury 03 349 7057 or Emergency 03 366 3886 www.spcacanterbury.org.nz