The information on this page is about what to do if a flood happens.
A flood is when a large amount of water rises to a dangerous level.
Floods can be caused by things like:
Floods happen often in New Zealand.
How long a flood takes to happen can be:
If a flood happens it can:
It is not possible to know when a flood might happen.
There are things we can do to:
The best way to get ready for if a flood happens is to make a plan.
Having a plan will make it easier for you to know what to do if a flood happens.
It is important to practise what you will do in a flood so you can act quickly to keep yourself safe if it happens.
Practise is when you do something many times so that you can get good at doing it.
It is a good idea to find out what the flood risk is like where you live.
The flood risk will tell you how likely it is a flood will happen.
You can find out what the flood risk is for where you live by asking your local council for information.
Houses that tend to be more at risk from floods are usually built:
If your house is in an area that is at risk from floods your local council should tell you about how to evacuate if you need to.
Evacuate means to get to a safe place away from danger.
Your local council should tell you about:
Your local council should also be able to support you to make sure your home is at less risk from any floods that might happen in the future.
It is a good idea to think about what supplies you might need.
Supplies can be things like:
First aid is when you give medical help to someone who is injured so you can:
It is also a good idea to put together a grab bag that you can take with you in an emergency.
A grab bag is a small backpack of essential items that you can take with you if you need to get away from danger very quickly.
If you have house insurance you should make sure it is up to date.
Having insurance is when you pay money to an insurance company so that they will assist you if something goes wrong.
You should make sure you have insurance for:
You should make sure your insurance says that you can claim for any damage a flood does to your home.
Having insurance will help you get things fixed quicker if your house is damaged by a flood.
If you think a flood is going to happen there are some things you should do.
It is important to keep up with any information.
Places you might find information include:
You should make sure you follow any instructions given to you by emergency services
You should have your grab bag ready in case you need to evacuate.
You should follow any orders that tell you to evacuate to stay safe.
You should evacuate straight away if you do not feel safe even if you have not been told to.
You should move any animals to a safe place so they will be away from any flood water.
If you have to leave your home you should take your pets with you.
You should move some things in your house to as high a floor as you can to keep them out of the water.
The sorts of things you should move include:
You should put any important items in containers that can be tightly closed to stop water getting in.
You should lift any items made of fabric off the floor such as:
You may also be told to turn off utilities when a flood happens.
Utilities are things like:
Floods can happen very quickly without warning.
It is important to act straight away if you see any rising water.
If you see any rising water you should not wait for official warnings.
Water from a flood can be very dangerous.
You must never try to move through water caused by a flood.
This means you must not:
Flood water is often contaminated water.
Flood water is often contaminated by things like:
You should always make sure you wash yourself very well after you have touched flood water.
If you do touch any flood water you should make sure you:
You should not go back to your home after a flood until you have been told it is safe.
It might not be safe to go back to your home even when any flood water has gone.
You should stay away from any areas that have been damaged by the flood.
This is to make sure you:
You should move around very carefully after a flood as the ground may be very slippery.
There may also be a lot of things on the ground that have been damaged by the flood that could hurt you.
If it is safe to do so you should check on people nearby who might need your help such as:
You should throw away any food items that have been touched by flood water including:
You should not use any water from your taps until you are sure it is not contaminated.
This means you should not:
Your local council may tell you to boil any water you use until they tell you otherwise.
This information is not in Easy read.
It is possible that a flood could damage your property.
Your property could be things like:
If your property is damaged you should not do anything that could:
If you have insurance you should tell the insurance company about the damage the flood has done as soon as possible.
If you rent your home you should tell your landlord about any damage.
You should take photos of any damage caused by a flood.
Having photos will mean the insurance company can look at your claim much faster.
After a flood it is very important to:
This is because water from a flood can make the air in your home unhealthy to live in.
When things get wet for more than 2 days they usually get mouldy.
There may also be germs / bugs in your home after a flood.
Mould can make some people very sick such as people who have:
If you are worried you should talk to your doctor if you have any questions about:
Before you begin cleaning up any mould you should make sure you protect yourself by wearing:
If there is a lot of mould in your house you may want to pay a cleaning company to help you clean it up.
After a flood you should throw away anything that got wet that cannot be safely cleaned.
This includes things like:
You can clean some things in clean boiling water such as: