What to do before and after a flood
Preparation is key. Here are some tips from the NZ Civil Defence and our locally based claims team.
Heavy rainfall can come on quickly and before you know it, you may find yourself in a flood situation. If this happens it’s good to be prepared. Here are some top tips from the NZ Civil Defence and our locally based claims team.
First and foremost, you need to keep yourself safe and avoid trying to do anything that may cause more damage to your home or contents.
- Put personal valuables (family photos, important documents, jewellery) as high off the floor as possible. You don’t want these to float away!
- Safely unplug all electrical devices to avoid damage from power surges.
- Turn power off at the mains if water has entered your house. Don’t turn it back on again until it has been checked by an electrician.
- Listen to your local radio stations as emergency management officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
- If you have a disability or need support, contact your support network or call 111 in an emergency.
- If you have a household emergency plan, put this into action. Be prepared to evacuate quickly if it becomes necessary and consider which is the safest exit route.
- Pack a getaway kit, including clothes, medication, and important documents that you may need in the near future or be hard to replace. Take a look at our guide ‘What to pack in an emergency kit’ here.
- If possible take photos or videos before any damage happens to assist should you need to make a claim.
- Move pets inside or to a safe place, and move stock to higher ground.
- Consider using sandbags to keep water away from your home.
- Fill bathtubs, sinks and storage containers with clean water in case water becomes contaminated.
- Don’t try to drive or walk-through floodwaters unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Be cautious and follow instructions from authorities for when it’s safe to go out after a flood.
- Only return to your property or business after it’s safe to do so.
If you need to make a claim after a flood here are some tips to help make the process as easy as possible:
- After a large weather event such as a flood, there may be long queues on the phone. It’s often quicker and easier to lodge a claim online. You can do this via My Tower or if you don’t have an account yet, you can use our online claims form.
- Write a list of everything that was damaged, so you ensure you don’t miss anything.
- If you can access any proof of purchase, have these together with the list.
- Record the damage using video or photo before starting any clean up. Don’t throw anything away.
- Clean up as much as you can. It’s helpful if you have a covered space to start drying out your things, you would be surprised by how much you can save if they are dried early.
- Read your policy wording – you might find out that you can make a claim for something you didn’t know!
- If your home isn’t safe to live in, check with your insurer if you are covered for temporary accommodation. Tower offers temporary accommodation if your house is uninhabitable.
Remember, we’re here if you need us. Make sure you’re ready for an emergency by visiting getready.govt.nz, where you can also find more information.