Earthquake Disaster Response Team

Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch-Earthquake_Cathedral_259_022-CROPIn February 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand suffered a devastating earthquake.  This earthquake severely damaged New Zealand’s second largest city, killing 185 people in one of the nation’s deadliest peacetime disasters.  The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, especially in the central city and eastern suburbs.  The damage was exacerbated by buildings and infrastructure already weakened by earthquakes and aftershocks in September 2010. The total cost to insurers of rebuilding has been estimated at NZ $20 – 30 billion, making it by far New Zealand’s costliest natural disaster, and the third costliest earthquake worldwide.

Christchurch-Earthquake_259_014-CROPLuster is part of a team supporting the government as well as the businesses and home owners of Christchurch to restore this scenic South Island paradise to its original look and feel prior to the earthquake. Luster’s personnel include licensed architects, engineers, project managers, and disaster relief specialists. For the past 8 years, Luster has supported the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster response efforts across the United States.  Luster is uniquely qualified and equipped to provide invaluable disaster response support to New Zealand.

The program Luster supports has four distinct phases:  verification, pre-construction, construction, and close-out.  In the verification phase, each of the damaged properties are assessed to help our client, Vero Insurance of New Zealand, determine if these properties can be repaired cost effectively, or if they should be demolished.  Our project managers work with teams of engineers, contractors, cost estimators and financial analysts to develop evaluation criteria in order to make our recommendations to our client for property determination.

Christchurch-Earthquake_Liquifaction_259_018-CROPFacing limited resources for senior project management staff in New Zealand and having to provide this staff in an extremely tight time frame, MWH-Mainzeal turned to Luster for help.  Within a very short period of time, we were able to fill the client’s resource challenge.

The Luster Team members were able to quickly learn the project management software and procedures in use, but more importantly we were able to blend in within the organizational structure to become highly productive members of the client’s team.  A team, by the way, that is made up of persons from all corners of the world that have gone to help Christchurch recover from the devastating effects of the numerous earthquake events over the last 2 years.