What to do during a flood or if a flood is imminent

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 flooding is possible:

  • Stay informed in an emergency. Listen to the radio or follow your Civil Defence Emergency Management Group online.
  • Be prepared to evacuate and keep your grab bag near. Listen to emergency services and local Civil Defence authorities. Follow any instructions about evacuation of your area. Self-evacuate if you feel unsafe.
  • Move pets to a safe place and move stock to higher ground. If you have to leave, take your pets with you. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them.
  • Turn off water, electricity and gas if advised to.
  • Move valuable and dangerous items as high above the floor as possible. This includes electrical equipment and chemicals. Use watertight containers to store important items.
  • Lift curtains, rugs and bedding off the floor.
  • Check on your neighbours and anyone who may need your help.

Links to information about:

Get Ready flood information https://getready.govt.nz/en/emergency/floods/

Food safety in an emergency https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/adverse-events/food-safety-in-adverse-events/

State Highway conditions http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/

Weather warnings and forecasts www.metservice.com

Insurance www.eqc.govt.nz