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Floods - Help Each Other First

Floods - Help Each Other First

Flood-affected Bay of Plenty farmers should take the flood clean up process one step at a time, advises Shelley Dew-Hopkins, the Manawatu-Rangitikei Provincial President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Ms Dew-Hopkins knows about the impact of floods after helping farmers through the lower North Island storm event in her roles as Provincial Federated Farmers President and Rural Recovery Coordinator.

"Floods put a lot of stress on individuals and families and the most important thing is to ensure that people are okay, both physically and mentally. Farmers should focus on making their home life the number one priority.

"The stress of a home and farm in disarray puts added pressure on people, and it is important to get your home and family sorted before starting the on-farm clean up."

Ms Dew Hopkins says farmers should not underestimate the importance of maintaining good communication with their family, keeping warm, and eating regular meals.

"We also encourage farmers to make the effort to talk to their neighbours every day. Find out how they are, and if they need support, and pull together to help one another with on-farm matters.

"Flooding also means there is considerable pressure to make decisions about personal and business matters. Farmers will make the right decision in their own time and cannot be forced, although some will need a hand. Give farmers support, but also give them the space to make their own decisions in their own time," says Ms Dew-Hopkins.

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