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Cyclone Gita Update 011 – community support and assistance

Cyclone Gita Update 011 – community support and assistance for those affected
26 February 2018 1615hrs

Local communities have risen to the challenges ex-Cyclone Gita has thrown at them, says Civil Defence Welfare Manager Rylee Pettersson.

“Welfare teams have made every attempt to visit residents affected. The dedication and support people have shown each other has been fantastic, and this community response is continuing.

“While the immediate physical impact of the floods is obvious, a few days after the event our wellbeing can be affected. As the situation becomes clearer, the amount of damage and the time it may take to repair and clean up can seem daunting.”

“It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed - stress and fatigue can take its toll.”

Connecting with others at this time is a way to keep you well, she adds.

“To start with, connecting with family and loved ones is important. Use your local connections if you can - these are often the people who know your situation the best. And they know who to contact in your local community to help.”

“Red Cross are also out and about and available for a chat. If they can’t help directly with your situation they’ll be able to link you with people who can.

“The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board is funding a free GP visit for residents whose health and wellbeing has been affected by the Cyclone. You just book at your own GP and state that you were impacted by the event.”

Health issues can also come to the fore after natural disasters, Rylee says, and it’s important people take action if they feel unwell.

“If people are feeling ill, then we recommend people contact their GP directly.

Rural Support Trust – a free service
Anyone in a rural area who feels they need support can also contact the Rural Support Trust for a confidential chat on 0800 787 254. The service is free.
Financial Assistance – Call Work and Income
If you are facing financial hardship from additional costs or loss of income as a result of the event, give Work and Income a call on 0800 559 009.

Everyone’s circumstances are different so the type of assistance available varies from case to case. If you are already receiving a benefit or superannuation then Work and Income might need to review what you’re currently receiving or check what else you might be entitled to.

You may also be eligible for a billeting payment if you are looking after friends or family who can’t get home. You don’t have to be on a benefit to qualify for financial assistance, although most assistance is income and asset test.

You can phone Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or if you’re receiving NZ Super, phone 0800 552 002.
EQC for land and damage claims
EQC is encouraging homeowners to lodge a claim if their property has been damaged as ex-Cyclone Gita crosses the country.

Chief Customer Officer Trish Keith says that although many people are still cleaning up and repairing damage caused by the remnants of Cyclone Fehi earlier this month, they should not be deterred from lodging a new claim.

Homeowners have three months from when the damage occurred to lodge a claim.

EQC covers storm and flood damage to residential land only, with home and contents damage covered by private insurance according to the terms of an individual’s policy.

Claims can be lodged online, via email on info@eqc.govt.nz, or by calling 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243). The EQC call centre is open 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.

Clearing Up Mud and Debris and Broken Household Items
For large spoil removal, individuals need to make contact with a contractor. That contractor can make arrangements with the companies below for disposal of the spoil material. There is no public access to disposal sites.
• C.J. Contacting 03 528 4466 (Colin Eggers)
• Concrete and Metal 03 528 6344 (Alister)
Both these firms will accept bulk loads of spoil (no domestic rubbish) from recognised contractors. Any fees are to be negotiated.
The public are also asked not to dump spoil on clean roads.


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