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Rain & River Levels
For road closure information:
Power & Phones
For Power supply to homes contact your electricity retailer
|Transpower owns and operates the national grid and there are three distribution organisations (lines companies) which own power lines in Hawke's Bay || |
|For gas supply to homes contact your gas retailer directly |
|PowerCo NZ is responsible for bulk gas supply to Hawke's Bay |
|Contact your supply company to report and fix faults |
|The majority of telecommunications in Hawke's Bay are provided by three companies || |
Health, Water & Food
For Public Health Alerts and Emergency Health response go to Hawke's Bay District Health Board
The following information has been provided by the Hawke's Bay Public Health Unit, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Central Hawke's Bay District Council and Wairoa District Council - please contact one of these organisations if you have any questions about this information.
Remember food that is not in waterproof, sealed containers and that has been affected by floodwaters should not be eaten. Please dispose of it carefully so that other people do not eat it.
RETURNING TO YOUR HOME AFTER FLOOD DAMAGE
After your home has been flooded, Civil Defence Emergency Management Group personnel will advise householders when they are permitted to return to the house. Although this procedure gives a chance to owners to return and recover items of immediate concern, it does not necessarily mean that the house is safe to be occupied. The Territorial Authority (local Council) will usually have placed an insanitary notice under the Building Act on the affected house and it will not be able to be lived in until that notice is lifted. This maybe for structural or for health reasons.
Restoring a house after flood damage
• Contact an electrician or the electrical supply authority before switching power on again if water has reached under-floor wiring or wall sockets or the structure has been damaged by the flooding.
• Contact the gas supply authorities if the gas meter has been affected by water
• Make sure that the local authority health, building and plumbing officers have checked that the building is safe and fit for habitation and the water supply and sewerage systems are safe and working properly.
YOU WILL ONLY BE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO YOUR HOME WHEN CLEARANCE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE ABOVE OFFICERS
Soon after heavy rains have stopped and waters have drained off the ground surface, sewers will generally return to normal function. It is important to clean up, drain and dry out the house as quickly as possible.
Remember that floodwaters can be polluted so all items in contact with water should be treated with caution. Personal hygiene, especially hand-washing, is very important to prevent the spread of disease.
• Where possible, take photos of the damage before starting the clean-up.
• Take out everything that is wet and that can be moved – floor coverings, furniture, bedding, clothing, etc, and put them outside to dry when the weather is fine.
IN ALL CASES APPROACH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY ABOUT DAMAGED GOODS BEFORE DISPOSING OF THEM.
• Get rid of mattresses and other large items that have been soaked with floodwater. Foam rubber mattress or pillows may be able to be washed, disinfected and dried in the open air.
• Get rid of contaminated clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture, toys and bedding unless they can be cleaned and disinfected. Items able to be cleaned should be boiled or washed and treated with a disinfectant before re-use. Dry-cleaning can restore other articles of value.
• All electrical appliances should be checked by an electrician before re-use.
• Frozen foodstuffs that have thawed should be discarded. Food in freezers can only be retained if they have not thawed, have not been in contact with flood water and an alternative storage can be found, otherwise they should be discarded.
• Any foodstuff that is not in a waterproof container and has been covered in floodwater should be discarded. Food stored in bottles and jars with crown caps that have been under floodwater should be discarded.
• Check for trapped water and mud in wall cavities, as well as under shower trays, baths, benches and bottom shelves. You may have to chisel out some bricks at the bottom of brick veneer walls. Remove skirting, if necessary, and cut out softened plasterboard in damaged areas. (Consult an expert such as an insurance assessor or builder).
• Use heaters (e.g., hot air blowers for under-floor space), but open all doors and windows.
• Replace wall linings, floor coverings, etc, only after things have dried out.
• Leave redecorating for at least three months after finishing the repairs to prevent risk of mould, blistering and peeling.
• DO NOT light fires in brick fireplaces for at least two weeks, and then use only small fires until the firebricks have dried out.
• Consult an engineer if there are signs that the house has moved on its foundations, e.g., buckled floors, new cracks in walls, out of shape doorframes.
• Residents with septic tanks that have been flooded are advised to get their tanks pumped out.
Cleaning out a basement after flooding
• Check all floor drains in the basement to see that they are clear of debris and drain any surface pools under the house by pumping or bailing away water. Try to increase the airflow to speed drying.
• Wash or flush down walls, shelves and floors with clear water and sweep to remove contaminated water and sediment. Then use a solution of one litre of household bleach in 10 litres of water to rinse down walls, floors and other equipment. Leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing with clean water. Keep windows open during this treatment and wear protective clothing. Follow this with a wash of hot water and soap or dishwashing detergent for the final clean up of walls, floors, cupboards etc.
• Ventilate the area by opening all windows or use fans, if power is available. Use a commercial deodoriser, if necessary, to remove any remaining smells.
KEEP LISTENING TO YOUR RADIO FOR INSTRUCTIONS, INFORMATION AND ADVICE
FOOD SAFETY DURING AND AFTER AN EMERGENCY
Priority of UseFood may be in short supply after an emergency. Priority should be given to using certain food types so as to maximise the food resources available. If the power is cut off, use the food in the refrigerator first, then food in the fridge-freezer, then food in the chest freezer. Foods in the home should be eaten in the following order:
1. Perishable food first, e.g., bread, meat, milk before they go mouldy/off
2. Semi-perishable next, e.g., fresh vegetables.
3. Long-shelf life canned and dry foods last.
Inspect the food – does it smell or appear different? (Has the colour changed and does it have a slimy texture?), if so it is probably unsafe to eat
• Any food that retains ice crystals and where the packaging has not been damaged or opened can be safely refrozen.
• Foods that have been defrosted can still be used if they have just recently defrosted and can be kept cold, for example if the fridge is working. DO NOT refreeze any food that has thawed out. Once food had thawed, it should be cooked within 1-2 days
• Store food safely to protect it from rats, flies and other pests, as well as any toxic chemicals.
• Store all perishable foods (i.e., food that is likely to go bad) in a chilly bin if available. If not, store in a cool, shady, airy place protected from dust, insects, rats and mice, e.g., a damp pillowcase hanging from a tree.
• If you have to move, wrap all frozen food in blankets to delay thawing.
• DO NOT open the door or lid of the fridge or freezer any longer than absolutely necessary.
• Throw out any food contaminated with glass, dirt, chemicals or sewage.
• Get rid of all rubbish by burning or burying, so that it does not attract pests.
• Use treated water to wash vegetables and fruit. (Boil water for three minutes, then cool, or add five drops of household bleach to one litre of water and stand for 30 minutes.)
• ALWAYS wash hands with treated water before and after preparing food.
• DO NOT eat foods that smell off, are discoloured or slimy, are soured or gaseous.
• Keep food containers and cooking utensils clean. Rinse/scrape dishes first, then wash in water with a suitable disinfectant added. Use detergent if there is no disinfectant available.
• DO NOT eat garden produce if the soil has been flooded as the food may be contaminated. Clean up and remove debris and sprinkle gardens with lime.
• DO NOT eat shellfish from the river mouth or harbour after an earthquake or flood because of possible contamination with sewage.
• DO NOT use any tinned food with split or swollen seams.
• Use camp stoves, open fires or barbeques for cooking food. Portable gas cooking appliances must be checked for gas leaks and must be used outside. Cover pots to save fuel.
• Thoroughly cook the food and eat as soon as possible after it has been cooked.
WATER SUPPLIES IN AN EMERGENCYIf the public water supply is unavailable in a civil defence emergency there are other sources of water available:
• Water stored in your hot water cylinder and header tanks. Water stored in your toilet cistern (do not use if there are chemicals used in the cistern such as “Bluey”).
• Ice cubes can be melted.
• Soft drinks, fruit juices etc.
Treat all water as if it is contaminated. Do not use water for drinking, food preparation or teeth brushing unless it has been treated first.
Water can be purified by straining first (to remove suspended matter and sediments) then using any of the following methods:
Boiling: Bring to the boil. Cover and allow to cool; store in the same container. Taste will improve if left to stand for a few hours.
Purification Tablets: Follow directions on packet. Mix and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before drinking.
Chlorine: Liquid household bleach such as “Janola” can be used. Add according to the table below, mix well and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before consuming.
In an emergency it is important to conserve water. A person needs about 20 litres each per day for drinking, washing, cooking, etc. If water is in short supply then use it for the most important reasons (listed below in order of priority):
|Amount of water to be treated ||Amount of liquid household bleach required |
| ||Clear water ||Cloudy water |
|1 litre ||5 drops ||10 drops |
|12 litres ||1/2 teaspoon ||One teaspoon |
|25 litres ||One teaspoon ||Two teaspoons |
• Keep at least 2 litres of water per person per day for drinking.
• Keep water for washing hands after going to the toilet and before preparing any food.
• Cooking and the washing of food utensils and dishes.
The following uses are not so important: bathing, clothes washing and general household cleaning.
If the public water supply cannot be resumed for some time then arrangements will be made to deliver water to your area using water tankers.
KEEP LISTENING TO YOUR RADIO FOR INSTRUCTIONS, INFORMATION AND ADVICE.
WATER SUPPLIES GENERAL INFORMATION
• Make sure you drink plenty of water.
• Wash your hands well. If water is in very short supply keep some in a bowl with disinfectant added, but change frequently.
• Check water by holding it up to the light. If it has anything floating in it or it is not clear, strain and boil the water or add five drops of household bleach (e.g. Janola) per litre of water and stand for 30 minutes before drinking.
• Collect rain water by either placing a clean container outside to catch rain or by disconnecting the down pipe from the roof and filling a container. Boil water or add chlorine as outlined on the previous page. Reserve one clean utensil to use as a dipper.
• DO NOT collect drinking water from the roof if it is contaminated with ash, smoke deposits or other debris.
• DO NOT drink water from the town supply unless you have been advised that it is fit for drinking.
• DO NOT assume domestic water filters are effective. They can become contaminated.
• DO NOT drink water from a private well if it has been flooded. Before use pump the bore water to waste for 24 hours and then flush the pipe work and run for an hour after reconnecting. Boil water until water has been tested and shown to be safe and clear for drinking. For advice around drinking water testing, contact your local council.
• If the bore is under water do not pump. If the bore is connected to a tank disconnect the tank, then clean and disinfectant the tank if contamination has occurred.
• Use spa and swimming pool water, if available, for keeping yourself clean and washing clothes.
• DO NOT waste water on cleaning clothes.
• Use a bucket or bowl for washing. Throw the used water over the land or put into a hole and cover with soil. DO NOT put it down the toilet or drains.
• Switch off power to the hot water cylinder if the water supply fails.
• Food Safety Guidance, PDF File - 119Kb
• Tips for Safe Food during an Emergency, PDF File - 113Kb
FOOD PREMISES ISSUES AFTER A FLOOD
Flood waters can carry bugs that cause disease from the ground surface, septic tanks and sewerage systems. These can contaminate food, food utensils and cleaning water. Refrigerators and freezers may not be working due to flood damage.
- Boil all water until the Council mains supply is restored as normal, or until any Boil Water Notice issued by the Council has been removed. You will require a minimum of 20L of hot boiled water, available at all times, to use for hand washing, cleaning of surfaces, dishes, and utensils etc.
- All boiled water needs to be on in a rolling boil for at least one minute. This will need to be done on a stove or gas cooker, using covered pots, as normal jugs, or zip type appliances, will not achieve this.
- Ensure any drinking water supplied to customers and staff is boiled as above.
- Post-mix machines and ice making machines should not be used until the Council mains supply is restored as normal, or until any Boil Water Notice issued by the Council is lifted. Any ice made during the flooding event must be discarded. Flushing of lines to these machines will be required prior to resuming use.
- Wash cooking, eating, and other kitchen containers and utensils in hot, soapy water if they have been covered by floodwaters. Rinse thoroughly in safe water, then disinfect by immersing for one minute in a solution of 500ml (about 2 cups) of household bleach in 10 litres of water. Rinse again in safe water. Alternatively boil all dishes/utensils for three minutes.
- Alternatively, instead of using household bleach, as above, a commercial sanitiser can be used after a hot, soapy water wash.
- Destroy all unpackaged food and food items packed in paper, cardboard or non-waterproof material that has been exposed directly to the floodwater.
- Foods in waterproof, airtight containers (e.g. tins) can be sold that have been in floodwater provided they are thoroughly cleaned in hot soapy water and sanitised as above. Write on the contents of tins if labels are damaged. If the label is completely missing do not sell the item.
- DO NOT sell/use packaged or canned food if it has been punctured or is bulging or leaking or the top has popped up. Throw out any canned foods which are dented on the side or along the top or bottom seams.
- Throw out the contents of bottles with crown tops and crimped or screw caps if water rose above the neck of the bottle/container.
- Get rid of all perishable foods needing refrigeration when they have been un-refrigerated for more than two hours.
- Throw out any frozen food which has partially thawed/thawed out.
- All discarded food should be double bagged and taken to the transfer station/landfill immediately unless a council rubbish collection is planned.
IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT
FOOD PREMISES ISSUES AFTER A FLOOD
Remember that floodwaters can be polluted so all items in contact with water should be treated with caution. Personal hygiene is very important to prevent the spread of disease
If the premises has been flooded
- Where possible take photos of the damage before clean up.
- Take everything out that can be moved – floor coverings, furniture, moveable appliances and storage items etc
In all cases approach your insurance company about damaged goods before disposing of them
- Get rid of contaminated carpets, flooring, and upholstered furniture unless they can be cleaned and disinfected.
- Lino will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on damage.
- Contact an electrician or electrical supply authority if flood water has affected wiring or wall sockets.
- Contact the gas supply authorities if the gas meter has been affected by water or moving debris.
- A Building Officer from the local Council can check structural compliance.
- Consult an engineer if there are signs that the premises has moved on its foundations, e.g. new cracks in walls, out of shape doorframes etc.
- Wash or flush down walls, shelves and floors with clear water and sweep to remove contaminated water and sediment. Then use a solution of one litre household bleach in 10 litres of water to rinse down wall, floors and equipment affected. Leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing with clean water. Keep windows open during this treatment and wear protective clothing. Follow this with a wash of hot water and soap or dishwashing detergent for the final clean down.
- Ventilate the area by opening all windows or use fans, if power is available. Use a commercial deodoriser, if necessary, to remove any remaining smells.
Assistance & Community InformationProviding appropriate psychosocial support following an event
In the hours, days and weeks after a disaster you may come across instances where people are worried, anxious, frightened, or just uncertain about their experiences and futures. Some will have experienced damage to their property which means that they cannot live where they normally live. Others may have experienced injury - either to themselves, or their loved ones. And this injury could be physical or non-physical, visible or non-visible. What we know from the research is that most people will be ok, especially if they have their usual resources to draw upon - especially their social networks and experience with coping with adversity successfully before in their lives. Others will need more support.
You can find more information at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research where they provide some useful factsheets, including Common Reactions to Disasters, Helping Children, Helping Adolescents, Families and disasters, Coping Personally - Information for health staff and volunteers & Helping someone you know through a traumatic experience