Natural disaster

Finding, managing and sharing people and information

  • Geoff Gregory Word Therapy, Paraparaumu, New Zealand


The theme of the seminar, panel discussion and open forum, organised by the EQC and the Insurance Council, was Natural Disaster: Finding, managing, and sharing people and information. Emphasis was placed on the recovery and reconstruction phases, beginning about 10 days after the disaster occurred. To provide a focus for discussion, the scenario chosen was the Great Wellington Earthquake, for which fairly detailed modelling has been done, most notably for the Wellington after the Quake Conference, 1995. (1) The seminar was, in fact, a follow-up to that conference, at which various recommendations for action had been made, such as:

  • raising public awareness o f the recovery aspects of disasters; 

  • planning for rebuilding, restoration, or relocation in advance of the disaster occurring so that the stress of immediacy and its effects on decision making are reduced; 

  • ensuring that homeowners, the insurance and building industries, and owners of businesses and buildings have procedures in place to improve the effectiveness of efforts to restore normalcy to disaster-affected areas.(2) 

The seminar was attended by about 100 participants, representing the insurance industry, territorial local authorities, emergency management/civil defence organisations (both local and central), the building industry, the engineering industry and professional engineering societies, and research organisations.


Gregory. G. (Compiler) (1995), Wellington after the Quake: The challenge of rebuilding cities. Earthquake Commission, Wellington/Centre for Advanced Engineering, Christchurch.

Gregory, G. (Compiler) (1995), Disaster recovery - What happens next?. Needs highlighted by the Wellington after the Quake Conference. Bulletin NZ National Society for Earthquake Engineering Vol. 28, ppl64-168.

Insurance Council. [Reprinted 1993], The Insurance Emergency Plan, Insurance Council, Wellington.

Applied Technology Council, California. (1989), Procedures for postearthquake safety evaluation of buildings. ATC-20. 152 p. and (1995), Addendum to the A TC-20 Postearthquake building safety procedures. ATC-20-2. 94 p. Applied Technology Council, Redwood City, California.

NZ Building Act, (1991), NZ Government Print, Wellington.

Building Industry Authority, (1992), NZ Building Code, BIA, Wellington.

Charleson, A. W. et al (1998), Post-earthquake building safety evaluation procedures. NZNSEE Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 2 June

NZNSEE. Special edition, (1985), Earthquake risk buildings - Recommendations and guidelines for classifying, interim securing, and strengthening. NZNSEE, Wellington.

NZNSEE (1995), Draft guidelines for assessing and strengthening earthquake risk buildings. 67 p. + appendices. NZNSEE, Wellington.

How to Cite
Gregory, G. (1998). Natural disaster. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 31(2), 122-127.