Types of Emergencies

To find out about the types of hazards that could cause emergencies where you live and the right action to take before, during and after, visit www.getthru.govt.nz.

Floods

Floods happen frequently and can cause a lot of damage. Floods are usually caused by heavy rain or thunderstorms. They can cause injury and loss of life, damage property and pollute our water and land.

Floods become dangerous if the water is very deep or travelling very fast or the water has risen very quickly, or if they contain debris like tree branches and sheets of iron.

During a flood

  • Do not try to walk or drive through flood water
  • Move valuable or dangerous items as high as you can off the floor
  • Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services

For more information on what to do before, during and after a flood, visit www.getthru.govt.nz

Storms and
severe weather

Major storms and severe weather can happen any time of the year and affect wide areas. They can include strong winds, heavy rain or snow, thunder, lightning, tornadoes and rough seas.

The MetService puts out severe weather watches and warnings through news services and on their website www.metservice.com.

During a storm

  • Secure, or move inside, anything that could cause damage in strong winds
  • Close windows and doors, close curtains to prevent injury from breaking windows
  • Stay inside and bring your pets inside. If you have to leave, take them with you
  • Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services

For more information on what to do before, during and after a flood, visit www.getthru.govt.nz

Earthquakes

Each year we have over 150 earthquakes that are large enough to be felt. A large damaging earthquake could happen any time and can be followed by aftershocks that continue for a long time. Most earthquake-related deaths and serious injuries are caused by collapsing walls, and falling glass and objects caused by the shaking. In a major earthquake, masonry and glass can fall off buildings and into the streets.

Drop to the floor, find cover and hold onto something rigid and strong

During an earthquake

  • If you are inside, Drop, Cover and Hold – do not run outside or you risk getting hit by falling masonry and glass
  • If you are outside, move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold
  • Stay there until the shaking stops
  • If an earthquake is very strong and/or long and you are near the beach or coast, move quickly to higher ground in case a tsunami follows the quake

For more information on what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit www.getthru.govt.nz

Tsunami

A tsunami is a series of waves caused by large earthquakes. All of New Zealand’s coast line is at risk of tsunami. A tsunami wave can grow to become a fast moving wall of water.

If you are at the coast and experience any of the following:

  • Feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • See a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • Hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

Move immediately to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can.

Long or strong get gone

During a tsunami warning:

  • Move immediately to the nearest higher ground, or as far inland as you can. Walk or bike if possible
  • If you do not have time to move to higher ground or inland, go to an upper storey of a sturdy building, climb onto a roof or up a tree
  • Do not go sightseeing. Never go to the shore to watch for a tsunami
  • Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services
  • Stay away from at-risk areas until the official all-clear is given

For more information on what to do before, during and after a tsunami, visit www.getthru.govt.nz

Volcanoes

Hazards from volcanoes can include ashfall, falling rocks, very fast moving mixtures of hot gases and volcanic rock, lava flows and massive mudflows. They can injure and kill people, and damage property, sometimes hundreds of kilometres away. GNS Science monitors volcanic activity and puts out warnings if eruptions are likely to occur.

During a volcanic eruption threat:

  • Close all doors and windows and stay indoors
  • If you are outside near an eruption, shelter in a car or building
  • If you are outside in volcanic ashfall, wear a dust mask or cover your mouth and nose with a cloth
  • Listen to the radio, follow the instructions of emergency services and keep out of restricted areas

For more information on what to do before, during and after a volcanic eruption, visit www.getthru.govt.nz

Landslides

Landslides can range from a single boulder or rock, to a very large avalanche of earth and rock that can spread for kilometres.

They are caused by heavy rain, earthquakes and, in some cases human activity. Landslides often happen without warning.

During a landslide:

  • Get out of the path of the landslide quickly
  • Warn neighbours and help others if you can
  • Contact emergency services and your local council

For more information on what to do before, during and after a landslide, visit www.getthru.govt.nz