Health and Wellbeing Advice - Looking after yourself and your whānau in extreme weather

Kia kaha whānau. 

Click here to download a PDF regarding how to look after your health and wellbeing after a flood or cyclone. This also includes important information on how to clean up safely. 

Civil Defence have also put together a handy resource. This pānui collates the government agencies and entities’ support and resource opportunities for
Māori communities in one place. 

  • Avoid flood water where possible – don’t let children or pets play in it.
  • If you have no running water, bring water to a rolling boil for one minute before drinking. Use another heat source such as a BBQ, if you have no power. Keep the BBQ outside at all times.
  • If you cannot boil your drinking water - add purifying tablets or plain, unscented household bleach: - Add half a teaspoon of bleach per 10 litres of water. - Mix and leave for at least 30 minutes or follow instructions on purifying tablets.
  • Store treated water in a clean covered container.
  • If your property was flooded it’s important to drain, dry and clean it up as quickly as possible.
  • Throw away contaminated food and frozen food which thawed out during a power cut.
  • Disinfect flood contaminated items, take big stuff out to dry and throw away things which can’t be cleaned (e.g. mattresses).
  • Wash and dry your hands immediately after handling any contaminated substances.


 Supporting your mental health

  • It is understandable to feel sad, distressed, worried, confused, anxious or angry, even if you’ve not been impacted personally by the flooding. Remember it’s ok to not feel ok.
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to talk to someone. You can call 0800 TAKATU for free manaaki support or you can call or text 1737 any time of the day or night.
  • There are many other contact numbers and websites out there. Please click here for a list. 


 Before cleaning up

  • Keep children and animals away from flooded areas until they have been cleaned and made safe.
  • Before you start cleaning up you should put on protective clothing and ensure you have suitable gear.
  • Wear rubber gloves, sturdy footwear, a long-sleeved top and trousers.
  • Put on a face mask (such as blue surgical mask used for COVID-19) and cover any cuts and grazes you may have to avoid infection.
  • Ensure you have a shovel to remove any debris and sewage from your property, and use bin bags for waste.
  • Avoid bringing footwear and clothing into the house that has been in contact with waste and debris, until it has been thoroughly disinfected.


Last modified:

In this section

Public health