Janice scoots under her bed while Joe takes cover under the table. Min Jae crawls under the craft table in the playroom and holds onto the legs while Sarah looks for a safe place. At exactly 10 AM the fire alarm sounded to simulate an earthquake. Everyone at the Shelter— staff members, volunteers and residents with their children DROP on the floor, find COVER under desks and tables and HOLD on to it until the alarm stops.
The Victoria Women’s Transition House Shelter participated in the province-wide earthquake drill on January 26, 2011. The House Manager checked around while the drill was going on and debriefed after the drill. The residents were particularly pleased that they get a chance to practice the earthquake drill; a child even requested to do it again. Staff identified more items in the Shelter to “earthquake-proof”. Quarterly drills may be done to help us stay prepared. The Shelter is equipped with emergency supplies, food and water that will sustain a full house for at least three days. It feels good our shelter is prepared!
53% was the reported increase in domestic violence following the New Zealand earthquake in September 2010. According to Inspector John Price of the Christchurch Police, 61 cases were reported from 4:35 am Saturday to 2:30 pm on Monday, compared with 40 in the previous year. A high level of stress and concern about safety, housing and employment contribute to domestic abuse but abuse is never ok. A relationship which is not healthy before the earthquake may become abusive quickly. It is important that women develop safety plans so they are prepared to make safe choices for themselves and children.
Equipping those who suffer or witness abuse with safety plans is an important part of being prepared for everyday life.
Keith Lynch, “Huge jump in domestic abuse following quake,” The Press 08 Sept. 2010 < http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/canterbury-earthquake/4105777/Huge-jump-in-domestic-abuse-following-quake>.