Emergency preparation and support

New Zealand is at risk from range of natural hazards. This page includes information on what support is available for disabled people, tāngata whaikaha Māori and whānau before, during and after an emergency event.

Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People, is a support agency under the Aotearoa New Zealand Civil Defence legislation. This means we support lead agencies that have the responsibility for leading an emergency response and recovery.

Accessible information for emergencies

Get Ready has accessible formats including Large Print, audio and NZSL providing information on the following:

During an emergency

If your life, health or property are in danger please call 111 immediately. You can text if you are registered for the 111 text service. Learn about registering for the 111 text service external URL .

For up to date information on current emergencies across New Zealand visit the Civil Defence Website external URL  and Civil Defence Facebook page. external URL You can also find local information through your local Civil Defence Group.

Follow the MetService website external URL or MetService Facebook page external URL for the latest weather updates.

Power outages

If you depend on power for medical equipment, life support, or medicine, this is what you need to do:

  • Contact your power company and let them know.
  • Contact your local civil defence centre external URL for support.
  • If you are in danger, please contact emergency services immediately and call 111. If registered, you can do this via the 111 text line.

As power begins to come back on, it’s important to stay safe and protect yourself from potential fire hazards. Switch off all light switches, power outlets and cooking appliances in a power cut and check for any damage before you switch things back on.

Wellbeing and mental health

After natural disasters and times of uncertainty it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, distressed, and uneasy. Support is available, so please reach out if you or your whānau need it.

A range of services are available to help support your mental health and wellbeing:

Key Insurance information

Key information about insurance:

  • Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible
  • If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company
  • Take photos of any damage. It will help speed up assessments of your claims

Further support is available through these organisations:

  • New Zealand Claims Resolution Service
  • Storm, flood and landslip damage: Toka Tū Ake EQC

Insurance Council of New Zealand

Find important recovery and insurance advice on the Insurance Council of New Zealand website external URL

Funding for people impacted by extreme weather 

Work and Income

There are a range of supports available through Work and Income for those affected by unexpected events, including the extreme weather events in 2023. These include:

Grant writing support

Hui E! helps small community groups apply for funding and grants. It matches groups with a volunteer grant writer.

Check out the Hui E! website external URL for more information.

Voice of disabled people in recovery planning

Whaikaha worked with the Disabled Persons Coalition and the New Zealand Disability Support Network to agree on a structure that enables disabled people to participate in recovery planning at the local level.

Recovery is locally led, regionally enabled and nationally supported. Recovery planning has been done at the regionally enabled level, and recovery actions implemented at this level. Therefore the groups formed in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay are operating at the regional level. The groups represent the voice and aspirations of disabled people in recovery activities.