Stay Storm Safe | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Stay Storm Safe

Stay informed with local Civil Defence Emergency Management authorities:

> Civil Defence Northland (Facebook)

> Northland Regional Council

> Whangārei District Council

> Kaipara District Council

> Far North District Council

For weather and road travel information:

> MetService

> Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Civil Defence info and advice will be broadcast on these radio stations:

More FM Northland, Radio NZ, Newstalk ZB, Today FM, The Hits


What to do during a storm

  • Stay informed on weather updates. Listen to your local radio stations.
  • Put your household emergency plan into action and check your getaway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Secure, or move indoors, all items that could get blown about and cause harm in strong winds.
  • Close windows, external and internal doors. Pull curtains and drapes over unprotected glass areas to prevent injury from shattered or flying glass.
  • If the wind becomes destructive, stay away from doors and windows and shelter further inside the house.
  • Avoid bathtubs, water taps, and sinks. Metal pipes and plumbing can conduct electricity if struck by lightning. Use your water from your emergency supplies.
  • Don't walk around outside and avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.
  • Power cuts are possible in severe weather. Unplug small appliances which may be affected by electrical power surges. If power is lost unplug major appliances to reduce the power surge and possible damage when power is restored.
  • Bring pets inside. Move stock to shelter. If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you.

Above information source: Civil Defence - National Emergency Management Agency

For more info and advice, visit:


What to do during a flood 

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. 


What to do if the power cuts out

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.


Clear the floors of tripping hazards

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.


Keep food and water safe

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.

Focus on hygiene when preparing and cooking 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.


How to use clean water and keep it safe and clean

To cook, wash dishes, and wash your hands, you can use bottled water, but also water from:

  • a hot water cylinder
  • a toilet cistern – as long as no chemical toilet cleaner is present
  • a spa/swimming pool – they can be used to wash yourself and your family.

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.


After an emergency, make sure food is safe

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.

  • Check the food – does it smell or look different? Has the colour changed and does it have a slimy texture? If so, it's probably unsafe to eat.
  • If food is still visibly frozen (for example, it still has ice crystals on it), and packaging isn't damaged or open, you can still safely refreeze it.
  • You should not refreeze food that has defrosted.
  • You can still keep or use food that was frozen but has defrosted, you just need to keep it cold (like in the fridge).
  • Do not use any tinned food that has been damaged (for example, if the can has broken open, become deeply dented, or is heavily rusted).

Above information source: Ministry for Primary Industries

For more info and advice, visit: 


Also, remember to check in in on loved ones, friends and neighbours to see if they’re safe and well. 


Get your household ready for an emergency
Whakaritea tō kāinga mō te ohotata 


What can we do to get ready?  

  • We have enough warning and time to prepare ourselves for this storm.
  • Make sure you have plenty of food and water to get through the next 7 days. If you are in an area that often sees flooding, then prepare yourself for this possibility.
  • Check drains, gutters and ditches to make sure they are clear of debris. Move stock to higher ground.
  • Tie down or remove any loose items around your property. Trampolines, tarpaulins, outdoor furniture etc are the biggest risk items.
  • If you have trees that are old or at risk of breaking in strong winds, move vehicles and boats away from them, and prune any loose or cracked branches if possible.
  • Make sure you have medicines if needed, and a backup power supply if you are reliant on power for medical devices. Remember to have spare batteries, torches, a radio and some way of cooking if we lose power for a while.  

At home

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.

  • Water for three days or more — make sure you have at least nine litres of water for every person. This will be enough for drinking and basic hygiene.
  • Long-lasting food that doesn’t need cooking (unless you have a camping stove or gas barbecue) and food for babies and pets.
  • Make sure you have phone and device battery packs fully charge and have a car charger for your devices to ensure you can keep in touch and keep informed. Plan for not having power supply for a number of days.
  • Toilet paper and large plastic buckets for an emergency toilet.
  • Work gloves and a properly fitted P2 or N95 mask.

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.

Grab bag

A grab bag is a small bag with essential supplies. Have one ready for everyone in your family. 

Each bag should have:

  • Walking shoes, warm clothes, raincoat and hat
  • Water and snack food (remember babies and pets too)
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Portable phone charger
  • Cash
  • Copies of important documents and photo ID
  • Supplies for any special dietary needs.

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.

Reduce the impacts of floods and be prepared

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:

  • How they’ll alert you if you need to evacuate - ask about their evacuation plans and local public alerting systems
  • What to do with your pets and livestock if you have to evacuate
  • How you can reduce the risk of future flooding to your home or business.

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.  

How much water to store? 

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.

Know your neighbours 

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. 

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