A resident access programme for inner city Christchurch has been given the green light.
The programme, which was successfully trialled last week, has been adapted from the business access programme .
The business programme allowed 831 businesses limited, controlled access into the Red Zone, and 704 businesses into cordoned areas outside the Red Zone.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority Interim Manager Transition and Deconstruction, Warwick Isaacs, one of the main challenges for the programme is reaching people.
Residents and tenants who have registered on the Earthquake Recovery News and Information (ERNI) service will be contacted shortly. People need to register early to be eligible.
Mr. Isaacs says the new programme involves detailed planning.
“How long someone can enter a building is thoroughly reviewed by structural engineers who carry out a careful assessment of hazards. Within a building everything from the number of floors, the stability of a stairway or whether there are safe refuge points, is taken into account. As a result some people are given 15 minutes, others two hours.”
Mr Isaacs says people need to take responsibility for their safety and plan their time in the Red Zone carefully.
“Bring a head torch and a high visibility vest, wear sturdy enclosed shoes, and make a list of your ‘must haves’. Helmets will be provided.
“Planning around safety is very complex, so once we have everything sorted we are able to give people 48 hours notice. If you’re waiting to hear from the resident access programme use that time to plan.”
Mr. Isaacs says it is important to remember the programmes might be the best and only chance for access to the Red Zone.
The resident access programme will continue for at least three weeks.
Photographs are available on request.