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Public health messaging, Cyclone Fehi event

Public health messaging, Cyclone Fehi event

31 January – 2 February 2018

Update #1: 31/01/18

A cyclone currently over the Tasman is expected to make landfall on the West Coast in the Franz Josef area tomorrow afternoon (Thursday 1 February). It will bring with it exceptionally strong winds which will make both local West Coast and transalpine travel hazardous. Significant flooding is expected in coastal areas of the South Island’s West Coast in particular, as storm surges combine with unusually high tides and rainfall possibly as high as 400mm between now and 9am on Friday.

Get ready now!

· Make sure you have your emergency kits on hand, including supplies of water and an alternative fuel source for cooking in case electricity is out. To check what might be needed, visit the getthru.govt.nz website. There’s a list of emergency survival items at getthru.govt.nz/how-to-get-ready/emergency-survival-items/.

· Avoid unnecessary travel. For any appointments, check before you leave home that these are still going to take place, as others may not be able to travel.


· Your local council might implement boil water notices. This means you need to boil or treat all water from taps / tankers before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation.

· Bringing water to the boil is sufficient to kill bugs (there is no need to boil water for three minutes).

· Water that is visibly clear can be made safe to drink by adding half a teaspoon of a standard bleach such as Clorox or Jenola (unscented) to 2 litres of water.

· Employers should make sure boiled or bottled water is available.

· Check your water supply and if it has been affected by surface run-off, don’t use it.


· Make sure your cupboards and fridge are stocked now. With the weather conditions, authorities are likely to recommend staying at home.

· If you do lose power, avoid opening your fridge and freezers if you can. Use perishable foods first but if in any doubt as to their freshness (if they look or smell funny, or the power has been off for some time), throw them away.

· Have an alternative fuel source available so you can cook – i.e. gas burner, in case the power goes out.


· Give some consideration to shutting your business (if non-essential) for the day. It’s likely travel will be dangerous and police will be warning people to stay at home. Look after your staff by allowing them to stay home.


· If you require medications, make sure you have them now, as you may be unable to get them in the next two days.

· If you need to see a GP and have trouble getting there, phone your GP. Postpone any non-urgent appointments.

· Check on neighbours and vulnerable people near where you live to reassure them and ensure they have everything they need.

· Avoid contact with flood waters if you can, in case they have been contaminated by sewage. If you do come into contact, wash the affected areas and hands as soon as you reasonably can or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Wash your clothes and shoes.

· In an emergency, ring 111.


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