When the initial threat of danger has passed, you should listen to the radio for instructions. Your first priority is your own safety and the safety of your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.

What you should do in an emergency

Listen to the radio

Listen to the radio for instructions. The main channels that will be used during emergencies are:

  • National Radio – 101.7 FM or 675 AM
  • Classic Hits – 97.7 FM or 96.5 FM
  • Newstalk ZB – 1098 AM
  • More FM – 92.1 FM
  • Radio Live – 99.3 FM  or 738 AM
  • The Breeze – 94.5 FM
  • Plains FM - 96.9FM.

Make sure you are safe

Plan ahead so you know how to stay safe after a disaster. Your first priority is your own safety and the safety of your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Help people who are injured

If it is safe to do so, and you are physically able to provide assistance, you may be able to help the people around you:

  • Check for injuries.
  • Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of death or further injury. If you must move an unconscious person, first stabilize the neck and back, then call for help immediately.
  • If the person is not breathing, carefully position them for artificial respiration, clear the airway, and commence mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Maintain their body temperature with blankets. Be sure they do not become overheated. 
  • Never try to feed liquids to someone who is unconscious.

Your own safety must be your first priority. Do not attempt to rescue trapped or buried people. Regular First Aid training(external link) is essential to maintain the skills you will need to provide help to the injured after an emergency.

Protect your personal safety

Be aware of exhaustion. Don't try to do too much at once. Set priorities and pace yourself. Get enough rest.

  • Drink plenty of clean water.
  • Eat well.
  • Wear sturdy work boots and gloves.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water often when working in debris.
  • Do not attempt rescue activities unless you have training, experience and safety equipment.
  • Never attempt rescue activities alone - solo rescuers can easily become victims.

Safety issues

Be aware of new safety issues created by the disaster. Watch for :

  • washed out roads,
  • contaminated buildings,
  • contaminated water,
  • gas leaks,
  • broken glass,
  • damaged electrical wiring,
  • collapsed buildings,
  • fire, and
  • slippery floors. 

Inform the Council about health and safety issues, including:

  • chemical spills,
  • downed power lines,
  • washed out roads,
  • smouldering insulation, and
  • dead stock/animals.


If you are not safe in your home you may need to evacuate or be asked to evacuate to an emergency centre.  Listen to the radio, or check this website to find out which emergency centres are open following an emergency. In Christchurch state-owned co-ed high schools are identified as preferred venues for emergency centres e.g. Hornby High School; Linwood College; Aranui High School. In Banks Peninsula the preferred venues are community halls such as the Lyttelton Recreation Centre and the Gaiety Hall.

Remember to take your getaway kit, including important personal documents and essential medications etc, with you when you leave your home.

Sector Posts

A Sector Post is a centre for the coordination of community emergency response. It is opened and managed by local Civil Defence Emergency Management Volunteers.

Our volunteers may open a Sector Post at any state-owned primary school across Christchurch and Banks Peninsular if needed during an emergency. In outer areas such as Kainga, Brooklands, and Little River, Akaroa and remote parts of Banks Peninsula, the Sector Post may be located at a local community centre/hall.

Sector Posts do not have a lot of equipment so residents need to plan to be self sufficient. Once you have checked on your household and neighbours, you may want to go to a Sector Post:

  • if you need help
  • if you can help others by sharing resources and skills
  • to gather and share information on what has happened in your neighbourhood.

Please note: that not every Sector Post will be open in every emergency. Listen to the radio to follow official advice during an emergency.

Finding your nearest Sector Post

If you don't know the nearest school to your home or workplace please consult the Ministry of Education website's School Search(external link).