The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) is reminding residents to take pre-emptive steps to protect their belongings from flooding.
It said preparing for a flood can reduce the impact of flood damage and can help insurers support customers promptly should their property be flooded.
“Local council is saying it is now a matter of when, not if Lake Wanaka will flood. For those in the flood zone now is the time to take action – move your car out of flood danger and start to put valuable goods higher up in the house – especially those important Christmas gifts,” Tim Grafton, chief executive of ICNZ, said.
“Lake side cafés and restaurants should not only be moving items out of potential flood levels, but also ensure that grease traps are sealed off to prevent contamination damage in the event of flooding,” he added. “Check on your neighbours and friends and make your properties as storm-safe as possible without putting anyone’s personal safety at risk.”
Other tips include making sure that the emergency kit is well stocked, taking down outdoor umbrellas and bringing in or tying down outdoor furniture where possible, and not doing anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property.
ICNZ also advised residents to get essential services repaired then keep copies of invoices, always wear protective gear, don’t do non-essential repairs, and don’t enter flood water.
“If you suffer flood damage contact your insurers as soon as possible to start the claims process. Be sure to take photos and note details of any valuable items purchased for Christmas that might not be noted on insurance policies yet,” Grafton said.