Guest blog post: Kristin Hoskin – A conversation on Christchurch

It’s been a bumpy few months in Christchurch. I never would have thought six months ago that my summer would be dominated by three earthquake responses. But it has.
 
Working with a variety of government entities I’ve been in the fortunate position of being able to see first hand how communications has, and sometimes, hasn’t worked. As well as being involved in the response effort regarding building assessment, and then the review of other facets of response (education and infrastructure), I’ve been one of those on the receiving end of public information too.
 
Only this weekend I became very excited (as did some of my friends) when a chemical toilet arrived at my front door. And the highlight of last week was being able to turn the lights on throughout my house. I can hardly wait until the day when I don’t have to boil water before drinking it or brushing my teeth. As for going back to the gym, or being able to bus to work, that remains a distant dream.
 
When I was first invited to speak at the EMPA conference I was going to talk about all the great lessons learned and applied in September, but five months and two more noteworthy shakes later, the personal experiences associated with living with earthquakes offers a more pertinent message for those tasked with providing relevant public information to an affected community.
 
It isn’t the dramatic building collapses that people want to know about, it’s how to get the kids to school safely, when their workplace will likely be able to be accessed, and what supermarkets are open. People living in an affected area aren’t concerned with the statistics regarding how much of the city is damaged, they want to know when their neighbourhood is likely to be restored and whether they should leave town or tough it out for a few more days.
 
Overall Christchurch’s earthquake responses have been handled very well, with the media being an active partner in spreading information. Even so, there are still opportunities to build a greater and more needs-driven role for the media following emergencies – truly making the media a partner in community recovery, and not just an observer.

– Kristin Hoskin, @kristinhoskin, Linkedin, Kestrel New Zealand

Kristen Hoskin  will deliver a keynote at EMPA on her experiences with response and recovery for the Christchurch earthquakes.

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3 thoughts on “Guest blog post: Kristin Hoskin – A conversation on Christchurch

  1. Susan says:

    Hi Kristin – We’ve all been watching the Christchurch trauma unfold with horror and sadness. I saw the memorial service, which was telecast live on our ABC-News24 news station, and was particularly impressed by the global quality of the event – so many religions represented, so many comments on the tragedy in Japan. I look forward to meeting you at the conference. Never were our skills so needed in the world.
    Susan

  2. […] media only recently, I know there are many more people who know much more than me about it. Kristin’s blog puts her in a very special position to comment from the viewpoint of a practitioner and also a […]

  3. […] like to thank Denis, Kristin, Susan, Simon, Axel, Steve and Anne who have posted guest blogs over the last few weeks. […]

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