Be Prepared for Heavy Rain and Floods


Did you know that floods are New Zealand’s number one hazard in terms of frequency, losses and declared civil defence emergencies? They can cause injury and loss of life, damage to property and infrastructure, loss of stock, and contamination of water and land.​

Flooding is usually caused by continuous heavy rain or thunderstorms but can also result from tsunami and coastal storm inundation. A flood becomes dangerous if:

  • ​Water is very deep or travelling very fast
  • Floods have risen very quickly
  • Floodwater contains debris, such as trees and sheets of corrugated iron      

Getting ready before a flood strikes will help reduce damage to your home and business and help you survive.


  • ​Check your Community Response Plan​
  • Know where the closest high ground is and how to get there
  • ​Check your insurance policy to ensure you have sufficient cover
  • Develop a Household Emergency Plan. Assemble and maintain yourEmergency Survival Items​ for your home as well as a portable getaway kit
  • Clear leaves and debris from your roof gutters
  • Check drainpipes and clear any blockages​​


  • 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, make contact with your support network
  • Put your household emergency plan into action and check your getaway kit. Be prepared to evacuate quickly if it becomes necessary
  • Where possible, move pets inside or to a safe place, and move stock to higher ground
  • Consider using sandbags to keep water away from your h​ome
  • Lift valuable household items and chemicals as high above the floor as possible
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks and storage containers with clean water in case water becomes contaminated
  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities as it can help prevent damage to your home or community. Unplug small appliances to avoid damage from power surges
  • Do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters unless it is absolutely essential​​

Select this link for more information on how to prepare and what to do when it happens.​

Page reviewed: 14 Feb 2019 2:46pm