Winter health and wellbeing top priority

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority – 15 April 2011

Government agencies are working to keep Canterbury people healthy and safe through winter following the September and February earthquakes.

The Interim Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), John Ombler, says agencies are working together to help people prepare for the additional challenges of winter.

“We know the colder months can be challenging at the best of times, and for many people this winter will be much tougher and more testing with the damage so many homes have suffered,” says Mr Ombler.

“A critical focus for us is people staying safe and well through winter, particularly those who are already vulnerable, such as the elderly or infirm and young children.”

Mr Ombler says a lot of work has already gone into restoring heating to homes that lost their primary source and making homes weather tight.

  • Fletcher EQR, contracted by the Earthquake Commission, expects the 4,500 priority winter heating repairs initially estimated to be needed in Christchurch will be completed by mid May, and is actively seeking to identify further households where such repairs are needed.
  • The Clean Heat Hub established earlier this year has made 25,000 calls to identify priority cases, based on data from a variety of sources. About 4,000 heating units have been ordered, installed or repaired to date, including heat pumps and different varieties of solid fuel burner. Orders are being placed at up to 1,000 per week.

“If you are still without your main form of heating or your house isn’t weather tight, then contact 0800DAMAGE or email heating@eqr.co.nz.” 

Mr Ombler says people should also strongly consider getting a flu vaccination, and remember that if they do feel unwell to see their GP early.

A factsheet with some practical tips and information to help people through the winter months and letting them know what help is available is being distributed in communities and can also be found at www.cera.govt.nz.

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