Floods are a common hazard in New Zealand. A flood becomes dangerous in the following conditions:

  • If the water is travelling very fast
  • If the water is very deep
  • If the floods have risen very quickly
  • If the floodwater contains debris, such as trees and sheets of corrugated iron

Getting ready before a flood strikes will help reduce damage to your home and business and help you survive.


Before a flood

  • Develop a Household Emergency Plan and prepare an Emergency Survival Kit so that you can cope with being on your own for three days or more

  • Find out if your home or business is at risk from flooding. If there is a risk, your local council can give you information to help you reduce the effects. This information could cover:

    • Evacuation plans

    • How to protect items in your home or business by raising them above floor level

    • How you can reduce the risk of future flooding to your home or business

  • Know where the closest high ground is and how to get there

  • Keep your insurance up to date


When a flood threatens

  • Listen to your local radio station for information and follow the advice and instructions from Civil Defence Emergency Management

  • Your local council or Civil Defence Emergency Management Group may issue a warning. Talk to them to find out how they will warn you


During a flood

  • Move out of the flooded area or go to the nearest high ground

  • Lift household items as high above the floor as possible

  • Do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters unless it is absolutely essential

  • Stay in a safe place. Do not go sightseeing.

After a flood

  • If you have been affected, have your house inspected and the damage assessed

  • Talk to your local council about ways to reduce the risk of future flooding to your house or business.