Above information source: Civil Defence - National Emergency Management Agency
For more info and advice, visit: civildefence.govt.nz/resources/what-to-do-during-a-storm
Put safety first. Don’t take any chances. Act quickly if you see rising water.
Floods and flash floods can happen quickly. If you see rising water do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater.
Stay out of flood water
Never try to walk, swim or drive through flood water. Many flood fatalities are caused by people attempting to drive through water.
Always assume that flood water is contaminated with farm run-off, chemicals and sewage. Contaminated flood water can make you sick. Make sure you wash your hands, clothes and property after contact with flood waters.
If the power goes out, a solar or battery-powered radio (or your car radio) can help you keep up to date with the latest news.
At night-time, keeping the floor well lit is an early priority, particularly if the household is all up and about. Clear access to the bathroom, emergency cupboard and make sure that bedrooms are hazard free. If you’ve prepared for a power cut, use a camping lamp or similar placed at the edge of the room by the wall, ensuring that the light source reaches the floor completely.
Keep doorways and entrances well illuminated and do a scan of living areas to clear up any loose items that might create a tripping hazard.
And the kids' rooms aren’t the only place where tripping hazards exist. Whoever has the torch first should prioritise doing a small ‘power cut clean up’, scanning each room and moving any loose objects off the floor. If there are any cables in open spaces, unplug and roll these up and pop them somewhere out of the way. You should be able to get around the home with moderate levels of artificial light without the worry of tripping and falling.
To avoid getting sick from food during emergencies:
· eat foods that will expire soon first – for example, bread and meat because they spoil more quickly than non-perishable food
· eat canned foods last
· open the fridge and freezer as little as possible to help keep it cooler for longer
· do not eat vegetables or fruits that have been lying in flood water
· cover all food with plastic wrap, or store in waterproof containers
· leave bottles, drink cans, and water containers in the fridge (if it's working) to keep things cold
· throw out bad or rotting food before it spoils other food.
Maintaining hygiene around food preparation and cooking requires more thought than normal.
· Always wash and dry your hands before preparing food – if water is in short supply, keep some in a bowl with disinfectant.
· Ensure all kitchen utensils and food preparation surfaces are clean before use.
· Cook food thoroughly.
· Cover all food with plastic wrap or store in waterproof containers.
· Rubbish containing food scraps must be protected from flies and rats by wrapping the scraps or putting them in a sealed container.
To cook, wash dishes, and wash your hands, you can use bottled water, but also water from:
Boil or purify water before using it in food preparation. This helps to avoid spreading viruses and bacteria between food. Once boiled, cover and store food in a clean container and place in the fridge (if it's working) or in some other cool place. Re-boil the water if it is not used within 24 hours.
If you do not have power to boil water, then purifying tablets or bleach can be added to ensure its safety. Add 5 drops of household bleach per litre of water (or half a teaspoon for 10 litres) and leave for 30 minutes. Do not use bleaches that contain added scent or perfume, surfactants, or other additives – they can make people sick.
Knowing what is safe to eat during the "clean-up" phase after an emergency can become a guessing game. Understand what may or may not be safe to eat.
Above information source: Ministry for Primary Industries
For more info and advice, visit: mpi.govt.nz/food-safety-home/food-safety-in-natural-disasters-and-emergencies
You probably have most of the things you need already. You don’t have to have them all in one place, but you might have to find them in a hurry and/or in the dark.
If you have special dietary needs, make sure you have enough to last three days at home and in your grab bag. If you have to evacuate, emergency shelters may not have the food that you need.
Don't forget that you and your neighbours can help each other by sharing supplies too.
By looking after yourself and your household, you'll also be helping emergency services focus their limited resources on the people who need the most help.
A grab bag is a small bag with essential supplies. Have one ready for everyone in your family.
Each bag should have:
Remember any medications you might need and keep your first aid kit, mask or face covering, torch, radio and batteries somewhere you can grab them in a hurry.
Find out from your local council if your home or business is at risk from flooding. They may have resources and information on how to reduce potential flood damage. They can also advise you about:
Review your insurance regularly. Having insurance cover for your home and contents is important to help you get back on your feet if you suffer damage in a disaster.
Work out what supplies you might need and make a plan together.
Practise your emergency plan and your evacuation route to higher ground.
Take measures to reduce potential flood damage and make sure your insurance policy covers you for flood damage.
Keep at least a three-day supply of water. You'll need at least three litres of drinking water per person per day (at least nine litres per person for the three days). This equates to four 2.25 litre soft-drink bottles. This will be enough for drinking and basic hygiene.
You should store more if you can. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double the amount required.
Children, nursing mothers and ill people will also need more.
Be sure to include drinking and clean-up water for your pets. The amount needed will depend on their sizes and the conditions. Remember that pets often drink more water than usual when under stress.
You will need more water if you want to wash, cook or clean with water, or if the emergency is long.
Some parts of New Zealand could be without water for longer than three days during an emergency. Your Civil Defence Emergency Management Group can recommend how much you should store.
Get to know your neighbours. In an emergency, you’ll be able to help each other while civil defence and emergency services are busy helping people who need them most.