Dealing with floods

Information and resources to help you deal with floods.


Preparing for floods

A flood can have devastating effects on a farm business, affecting livestock, land, and buildings. The best way to minimise damage is to be prepared. 

  • Plan what to do with your pets, livestock and valuable equipment.
  • Know where the closest high ground is and how to get there.
  • Check your insurance policy.

Preparing for a flood – Beef+Lamb NZ fact sheet

During and after a flood

Safety first

  • Don't put yourself at risk from contaminated water, damaged roads, or landslides and other hazards.
  • Look for and report broken power lines to your electricity provider. Treat all lines as live.
  • Trees may be unstable due to saturated ground and high winds.
  • Be conscious of security. Lock your car and house. Report suspicious activity to police.

Health and wellbeing

  • Throw away food and water that has been contaminated by floodwater.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
  • For disposal of hazardous waste, including farm chemicals, call EnviroWaste on 0800 00 06 11.

Your property

  • Report flooded homes and any need for temporary accommodation to your local council.
  • Assess damage to water supply and reticulation systems. Which stock water troughs are contaminated with silt and will need cleaning?
  • Assess damage to access lanes, tracks, gateways, culverts, and fences. What flood debris needs to be cleared?
  • Assess damage to pastures and the depth and type of silt.
  • Assess available non-flooded pastures and other unaffected feed reserves.
  • Accept help when offered, and ask for it if you need it.

Update your NAIT records if you moved stock

  • If you had to move stock during flooding update your NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme) records. Ensuring animal records are up-to-date is vital to ensure that NAIT can provide biosecurity and disease management support.
  • If you need help with your NAIT account or updating your records call 0800 48 24 63.

Financial assistance

  • Talk to your accountant, bank manager, or Work and Income. There are options for help.
  • Talk to Inland Revenue about tax relief.
  • If you and your family are affected by flooding, you may be able to get a Civil Defence payment.
  • The Rural Women NZ Adverse Events and Relief Fund may be able to help.

Insurance advice

  • Lodge your claim as soon as you can, even though you may not have all the information.
  • Take notes and photos of all damage.
  • Talk with your insurer during the call about temporary accommodation support, if needed.
  • Carry out emergency repairs, such as making buildings safe and weatherproof. Take photos of any damage you’re repairing to add to your insurance claim.
  • Call your insurer before carrying out non-essential repairs.
  • If you need to throw out some items, such as perished food, take photos first.

Emotional recovery

Take good care of yourself. Recovering from a flood is a big job. Learn how to recognise and care for anxiety, stress, and fatigue. Call your local rural support trust if you are concerned about someone's stress levels or mental wellbeing.

Find out more

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