First and foremost, make sure everyone is safe and accounted for. Check on elderly neighbours and seek out medical attention for anyone who needs it. Once you’re sure everyone in your party is safe, move to clean and dry your property quickly. Before you begin cleaning and throwing anything away, take photos and videos of damaged property and items for insurance purposes later on.
Start by getting your property dry and clearing out porous materials like rugs, bedding, furniture, and clothing. Throw out any food or previously potable drinking water that may have been contaminated. This includes fruit and veggie gardens whose soil was flooded. Floodwater contains dangerous contaminants such as sewage, Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli, so don’t take any chances. You can salvage the garden beds however by treating them with lime, but the plants and produce must be destroyed.
Once you’ve cleared each area, keep small children and pets away. Take notice if your electrical or gas meters have been damaged and contact your utility supplier.
While Watercare has been inundated by the floods, they are working tirelessly to restore our communities and are prioritising overflow areas with health and safety risks and the greatest potential of property damage. The treatment plants are operating so your drinking water is safe, however, some properties may experience low or no water pressure, which they are working to address. Water may appear discoloured. If that happens to any tap connected to the mains, run it for 10 minutes to clear the water. Another round may be necessary after a few hours if the discolouration remains. Watercare also has water tankers positioned around Auckland and the surrounding areas. Check their Facebook for up-to-date information and locations.
Each insurance company’s claim process may vary but no matter your insurer, take photos of your damaged belongings before repairing or removing anything. If your car, home, or other property has been damaged, report it to your insurance company as soon as possible. Remember, thousands of claims have already been filed, so be patient with the response, but don’t wait to submit your claim. If you’re in a rental property, tenants are legally required to inform their landlords of property damage.
Call the EOC Welfare team at 03 543 7290, after hours at 03 546 0200.
Civil Defence payments are available to many affected by the floods, even if you’re not currently receiving a benefit. Call Work and Income for more information at 0800 400 100 to apply.
Call Auckland Emergency Management at 0800 22 22 00.
When it’s safe to do so, get in touch with a local Auckland or Bay of Plenty Oncore Branch Owner to discuss repairs and maintenance.