Returning to your home or business after a storm can be an overwhelming and emotional task.
To make things easier, we’ve got a few simple tips that will help keep you and your family safe while cleaning up and assessing damage.
Get permission before returning
Make sure authorities have given the all-clear before heading back to your home or business. It’s understandable to want to get back as quickly as possible, but this can endanger you and your family in the process.
Do a visual check first
Before entering your property, check around the area for any obvious hazards or signs that the building is structurally compromised. Turn off all power, water and gas mains and evacuate immediately if you can smell or hear a gas leak (a whooshing sound). If you have to step into water to turn of the power, contact an electrician for advice.
Wear appropriate clean-up clothing
This includes long clothes, dust or respirator masks, and sturdy shoes or work boots. Cut feet are one of the most common injuries after disasters, and take care not to get any contaminated water into or near open wounds.
Throw away perishable food and any other food that has or you think has come in contact with flood waters. If you’re not sure, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s also good practice to boil and drinking water until advised by authorities that it is safe to stop.
Look after your neighbours
When it’s safe to do so, head over and check on how your neighbours are. Community spirit and resilience are important factors in overcoming a disaster, and the people around you will appreciate help, especially if they’re elderly. Organising a community or street clean-up can also be a great way to meet more of your neighbours and get things done together.
Stay informed of the help available
The Red Cross and other helpful agencies will be on the ground to assist with any help you may need. Do a search of the organisations in your area to find the best local support for you.
Make a claim
Unless it’s urgent, making a claim online at ami.co.nz/claims is the best way to get all your information to us. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of any damage in and around your home. We will get back to you as quick as we can. If you have any questions, check out these FAQs at ami.co.nz/cyclone-cook-faqs or message us on Facebook.