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Thursday, 21 March 2019 01:09 am

Quake up call for Wellington shops

Jul 12th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

 LAST week’s earthquake only caused minor damage, but it has served as a wake up call for Wellington retailers.

Wellington Civil Defence Emergency Management says it is unclear how well equipped our shop keepers are for a more powerful shake.

Regional manager Bruce Pepperell believes Wellington may be the most organized city in the country but retailers need to be honest about their contingency plans after earthquakes.

“We’ve done many surveys on this and found that most businesses are ready but I just question how robust their earthquake management plans are,” says Mr Pepperell.

“Wellington is the best prepared for earthquakes in the country but some businesses will be more prepared than others and some won’t have a plan at all.”

Ben Dods (below right) arrived at his art gallery, Kura Ethnic Art, after last week’s magnitude 7.0 to find a few pieces broken but admits his business is not ready for life after a bigger shake.

“If there was a big earthquake we’d just get out, but do we have a plan? No,” says Mr Dods.

“Every time there’s an earthquake we have to go round the place with lots of blue-tack.”

Susie Hill (below) helps manage Redcurrant gift shop and has learnt from watching how other retailers have handled more devastating quakes.

“In Japan they were worrying about stock and trying to keep that from falling. We just wouldn’t do that,” says Mrs Hill.

“I think Christchurch woke up a lot of people and everyone started getting organised.”

Mr Pepperell feels that retailers can learn lessons from businesses in Christchurch. He believes it is not just about planning for the earthquake but also for life after it.

“Businesses in Christchurch’s red-zone who kept everything on  site were in trouble.  You could see them outside [the red-zone] saying they needed to get inside. They destroyed their own businesses,” says Mr Pepperell.

“It’s a question of do you want your business to have any longevity? Do you want to be able to operate after an earthquake? You need an earthquake management plan.”

Mr Pepperell says chain stores may have emergency strategies in action already but it’s the smaller businesses that need to put procedures in place.

“I know many of the larger firms have a requirement to have plans in place for earthquakes but it may not be the same for stand-alone businesses,” says Mr Pepperell.

“It’s simple aspects that need taking care of, the premises, the supply chain, the staff and data protection.”

Mr Pepperell says that a scheme to educate business owners could be implemented in September.





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