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.