What to do after a storm or flood

New Zealanders have been faced with some severe weather recently. Having to leave your home or business due to severe weather or flooding can be overwhelming.

To navigate the recovery process as quickly and effectively as possible, here are five key things to remember as you come out of a severe weather event:

1. Your safety, and that of your family and staff, is number one. It may be unsafe to return to your home or business – so please wait until officials give you the all clear to return.

2. When you do return, be very careful of hazards in and around buildings. Make sure the electricity and gas have been turned off before entering. Take a torch with you, even if you may not think you need it. 

3. Connect with neighbours to see how they’re doing and if they need any help, especially the elderly.  

4. Throw away any food that has been in contact, or has likely been in contact with floodwaters, and ditch any perishables, especially if your power has been cut off for an extended time. Boil tap water until emergency services advise it’s safe.

5. There are many organisations out there to help with the recovery process, such as the Red Cross and Civil Defence. Search organisations in your area to find local support.