What To Do In An Emergency
All you need to know when an emergency occurs in Canterbury
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Canterbury Emergency Info

A natural disaster or emergency situation can occur anywhere at any time! Make sure you're prepared and know what to do should an event occur whilst visiting the Christchurch and Canterbury region. 

Emergency contacts

For regular updates and important information, the Civil Defence website is your first point of call.

The following radio stations will provide regular updates in case of an emergency.

Christchurch frequencies

  • 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

For road updates and closures, please visit New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)

For weather updates, please visit Metservice

How to be prepared in an emergency and what you need for your kit.


What to do in the event of an earthquake. If you are:


  • Move no more than a few steps to a safe place, drop, cover, and hold on.
  • Do not attempt to run outside.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops. Stay away from windows, chimneys, and shelves containing heavy objects.
  • In bed - hold on and stay there, and protect your head and body with a pillow and blankets.


  • Move as short a distance as possible to find a clear spot, away from buildings, trees and power lines. Drop to the ground.

In a car

  • Slow down and drive to a clear place (as above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

In a lift

Stop at the nearest floor and get out.

Visit the Earthquake Commission for more information.


Coastal Christchurch and Banks Peninsula faces tsunami risk.

Local and regional source tsunami

Generated from a large earthquake around, or near, New Zealand. The chances of a local source tsunami is low however it is important to know that if one does happen you must evacuate immediately as you may only have a short time frame.

Distant source tsunami

Generated from a large earthquake a long distance away such as South America or Alaska. This is the biggest tsunami risk to the Christchurch coastline, however, there will be time to issue an official warning and several hours to evacuate areas at risk.

Familiarise yourself with the tsunami warning signs.


Floods are New Zealand’s number one hazard in terms of frequency, losses and declared civil defence emergencies. Floods can cause injury and loss of life, damage to property and infrastructure, loss of stock, and contamination of water and land.

Floods are usually caused by continuous heavy rain or thunderstorms but can also result from tsunami and coastal storm inundation. A flood becomes dangerous if

  • the water is very deep or travelling very fast
  • the floods have risen very quickly
  • the floodwater contains debris, such as trees and sheets of corrugated iron 

Getting ready before a flood strikes will help reduce damage to your home and business and help you survive.

Pandemic influenza

This occurs when a strain of the flu virus becomes highly contagious, spreading easily and quickly around the world. Because the population is not immune to a new virus, it will affect more people causing higher rates of illness and death.

  • Pandemics are unpredictable and it is hard to know when one will occur, what type of flu, and how severe it will be.
  • People are most infectious during the first 3 days of illness.
  • If you feel unwell over a longer period of time and have persistent flu symptoms, please see a doctor.