Checking on people and damage

Information is incredibly valuable in an emergency.  How can we know what has happened and who needs help, and what needs fixing if we don't gather information?

We need to make sure that no one is left behind, and that everyone in the community is checked on after an emergency – whether it’s for rescue and medical assistance, or just basic support and information.

  • Contact everyone in the community as soon as possible.
  • Record and report information on people and damage back to the Hub.
  • Regularly check everyone in the days following the event as people’s circumstances may change.

Life-threatening situations

Help if you can, but do not put yourself in unnecessary danger to save someone else. You don’t want to become a casualty too.

Attempt to contact the emergency services by calling 111 in all life-threatening situations.

Sometimes all you can do is keep other people from being harmed. Let people know that there is a hazard, and keep other people away from the hazard if you are able. This may include helping people evacuate an area.

Report back to the Community Emergency Hub:

  • What the problem is.
  • What you have done.
  • What still needs to be done, if anything.

Information about life-threatening situations should be reported to the Emergency Operation Centre to help them prioritise their response where it is needed most.

How can you make sure that everywhere has been checked?

  • Start with known affected areas or groups that might need extra assistance.  There will be parts of your community that you think are more vulnerable than others.
  • Draw upon any local lists and knowledge.
    • Are you aware of areas that have had problems in the past?
    • Are there known earthquake-prone buildings?
    • Is there infrastructure that you are worried about?
    • Are there facilities that you want to be able to use to help the response?
  • Coordinate a street-by-street, house-by-house check.
  • Use the area maps in the Hub.
  • Record any information on the impact to the community. For example, status of roads, building damage, and peoples unresolved needs. Report the information back to the Information Coordination person at the Hub.
  • Staying in contact with the people you have already check on should be done frequently, as people’s circumstances can change after an event.
  • If you can’t give someone immediate assistance, collect information about their needs and bring that back to the Hub. See if you can find an answer to their needs with the resources available in your community.

Who could get around the community to check on people and look for damage?

Are there existing community groups who are used to working together, or may have some resources, such as hand-held radios that could be useful?

Walking groups, church groups, Community Patrols and four-wheel-drive clubs, are just some examples. 

Do you belong to a club or an organisation that could help?