Floods are the most common emergency in Aotearoa. Floods are usually the result of continuous heavy rain and/or thunderstorms, but may also be caused by tsunami and coastal-storm inundation.
Flash floods occur rapidly and are generally the result of a sudden downpour overhelming the drainage systems.
Prepare for floods
- Find out from your local council if your home or business is at risk of flooding.
- Know where the closest high ground is and how to get there.
- Develop a Whānau Emergency Plan. Use this template – [Whānau Emergency Plan]
- Prepare your Emergency Go Bag with food, water and other important supplies.
- Check with your local Civil Defence if there is a community flood evacuation plan.
If flooding is expected
- Consider using sand bags to keep water away from your home.
- Move or raise valuable household items if time permits to prevent damage.
- Collect as much clean water as possible to use in the coming days.
- Turn off water or electricity supply to prevent damage if instructed by council or Civil Defence.
- Move animals or livestock to higher grounds.
During a flood
- Listen to news or emergency updates and instructions from Civil Defence.
- Be prepared to evacuate quickly with your whānau. Don’t forget your pets.
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood water.
- Boil water for drinking and cooking as water from the tap could be contaminated
After a flood
- Continue to listen to news updates, and instructions from Civil Defence to find out if it is safe to travel.
- Stay away from damaged areas.
- Throw away food and drinking water that has come in contact with floodwater including canned goods.
- Discard wooden spoons, plastic utensils and baby bottle teats and dummies if they have been covered by floodwater.
- Disinfect metal pans and utensils by boiling them in clean or properly treated water.
- Continue to boil water for drinking and cooking until you get the all clear from your local council.
- Clean, dry and air out your house to avoid mould building up. If there is mould, hire professionals to clean up the mold.