What we do
Ā mātau mahi
- Recent stories
- Finding strength in adversity
- Preparing multilingual communities for emergencies
- Colombian former refugees host cultural celebration
- International appeal launched to support major recovery and rebuilding operation following Indonesian earthquake
- A day in the life of a delegate in Cox’s Bazar
- See all stories
Shop with us
Nau mai, hoko atu
- Get involved Donate
Several of the houses on Diane Edkins' quiet Kaikoura street have been red-stickered. Across the road, a garage has collapsed, and down the street, a house is slipping into a nearby stream.
Diane doesn't know yet if her house will be given the all clear.
"We're worried about being red-zoned, because we're within 50 metres of the creek," she says, when Red Cross, along with building inspectors and Urban Search and Rescue, calls in for an outreach visit.
"It's quite nerve-wracking."
Inside Diane's home, everything is spick and span; it's hard to tell the building has been rocked by a severe earthquake and days of aftershocks. Despite not knowing whether her house will end up red-stickered, Diane has made sure to tidy up the earthquake's mess, just to restore a sense of normalcy.
On Monday morning, she found herself ankle-deep in debris: jars of homemade relish smashed across the kitchen floor, her crystal glasses and dinner sets destroyed and items strewn across the living room.
"There's so much food and stuff gone, but we're alive - that's the main thing," she says.
While the inspectors examine the property, Honor, a Red Cross Disaster Welfare and Support Team member, chats with Diane and her husband Darrel about what support they need and how Red Cross can help.
One of their biggest concerns is getting to the toilet - the nearest portaloo is quite a way up the road. As a diabetic, Darrel also has to take care he eats properly, making food a priority.
But for Diane, who also lived through the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the most concerning thing is seeing her neighbours leave their damaged, red-stickered homes.
"What's worrying me is watching all those poor people leave. That really gets to me. It set me off - I was beside myself."
Red Cross team members have been working in Kaikoura to link households with services and essential supplies. They're also on hand to provide psychosocial support for those who are struggling with the quake's impact or for people who have just been told they can't stay in their homes.
While talking with Honor, the Edkins get good news: their house has been white-stickered, giving the couple the all clear to remain.
In the meantime, Red Cross has arranged for a chemical toilet, hygiene supplies like bleach and hand sanitiser, water and food - along with pet food for the pair's excitable dogs, Lucy and Samuel - to be provided for Diane and Darrel.
Honor has also passed on information about how to access other support, if the couple decide they need it.
Diane says she is grateful for the support and information.
"I love Red Cross. I think you're amazing."