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Flood Clean-up advice for Tairawhiti

05 Nov 2021

The severe weather in Gisborne and the Tairawhiti region that has brought two months of rain in two days will leave many locals with a lengthy clean up, especially those in Gisborne and further up the coast in Tolaga Bay which bore the brunt of the rainfall.

As people start to return home over the coming days the Insurance Council of New Zealand advises:

  • If your property is damaged, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible.
  • If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance provider as soon as possible.
  • Take photos and videos of any damage and note down the details of valuable items.
  • If it’s safe, don’t dispose of anything until you’ve spoken to your insurer as it will help speed up the assessment of your claim.
  • Throw away food and drinking water that has come into contact with floodwater, including canned goods.  Be sure to take photos of perishable or unsanitary items before you dispose of them.
  • Always wear protective gear, including gloves and masks, in case you’re exposed to hazardous material.  Most flood waters are sewage polluted.
  • If you can, clean and dry your house and everything in it, this is because when things get wet for more than two days, they usually get mouldy.
  • If you need to, make your home safe, sanitary and weather-tight but if possible don’t do non-essential repairs. Get essential services repaired and keep copies of invoices.
  • Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property.
  • Get gas and electrics checked before using any appliances.
  • Be wary of wet machinery or electrical items. This means that if your car has been submerged in water don’t turn it on or attempt to drive it. Similarly, don’t use any appliances or machinery, like chainsaws, that may have been water damaged.
  • Help others if you can, especially people who may require special assistance.

“Over the coming days, those in the affected areas will be turning their attention to clearing the damage and getting things back to normal,” says Tim Grafton, Chief Executive ICNZ. “As communities start assessing the scale of the event and the needs of those affected, insurers are here to help.”  For those homes with damage that are uninhabitable they may be eligible for a temporary accommodation benefit which is included in most home and contents policies.

“Insurers are already mobilizing by engaging local builders to start on make-safe repairs and getting water extraction and drying experts into the region so that when the water recedes and access is available, the drying process can begin” he said.

Customers will have a single point of contact for their claim with private insurers now managing EQCover claims on behalf of the Earthquake Commission.