The immediate rescues are sexy. Water supplies save lives.
One of the bigger issues that jurisdictions have — post-earthquake — is restoring utilities. See this story of one utility and their post-Loma Prieta journey, Is Santa Cruz County, Calif., H20-Ready for Next Quake?
In retrospect, the issues they had to fix were minor compared to what Christchurch, New Zealand, experienced in their earthquake disaster. The life-saving phase is really about 24 hours long, and then after that, injured people and those with no access to water trapped in collapsed structures are likely going to die. Even healthy people will begin to die after 72 hours if they don't have access to water.
In concert with collapse rescue work, utility work will also begin immediately, but the work will go on for weeks, months and even years — perhaps a decade or more.