The 14 November North Canterbury earthquake has prompted a change to the way UC will communicate to staff, students and key stakeholders in the event of a major incident that may affect campus.
In the event of an incident, staff who are off campus should assume campus remains open unless they are told otherwise, or it is obvious from other sources such as media or Civil Defence that it will not be. If campus is open but staff are unable to get here, they need only let their manager know.
Following an earthquake of 5.5 or greater within 50 kilometres of Christchurch, UC buildings will typically be inspected. We may also do so for less severe events closer to Christchurch.
UC will endeavour to contact staff as soon as possible after an event, and after the outcome of any inspections are known. UC will endeavour to communicate by 6pm at the latest for events during the day, and by 7am for significant events occurring overnight. Staff starting work on campus very early in the morning should contact the UC Security office for an update prior to starting work.
UC will communicate to staff and students and key stakeholders by email. It will also post on the UC Facebook page and on Twitter. This is intended to compensate for loss of internet access through powercuts or evacuation, by providing information searchable from a mobile device. Both UC’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts are public accounts not requiring membership to access. Searching for University of Canterbury in a search engine will locate the UC Facebook page. Likewise, searching @UCNZ will locate UC’s Twitter feed. (Scroll down to see visual instructions below on how to do this.)
UC will no longer post on the UC website as a matter of course, but may still do so if the event is significant and affects campus, or the Emergency Operations Centre is activated. Any website post is likely to be a delayed, more considered response for interested parties beyond the campus.
The Communications and Engagement team continues to investigate options for texting staff and students updates following a significant event. For an organisation the size of UC, this is not as simple as one might assume. This option, should it eventuate, will at best be an opt-in service requiring staff and students to keep their details updated in order to receive updates.