In an emergency
If you are in need of emergency services, please dial 111.
Like the rest of New Zealand and the world, the Bay of Plenty is not immune to emergency situations. Whether it be an earthquake, flooding, tsunami, volcanic eruption, pandemic, terror attack or something else – disasters can occur in our beautiful region, sometimes without warning.
That’s why it’s important to be prepared and have a plan. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in an emergency.
Always remember to Drop, Cover and Hold.
- Identify a safe space near you – a few steps away at most – and DROP to your hands and knees.
- COVER your entire body, if possible, under a sturdy object or structure such as a desk, table or interior wall (away from windows and tall furniture) – avoid doorways. Use your arms and hands to protect your head and neck, even under shelter.
- HOLD your position and/or shelter until the shaking stops.
The same process applies if you are outside, near structures, trees or anything that could fall on you and cause harm.
However, if you are in bed, stay there and cover yourself with blankets and sheets and a pillow for your head and neck.
If you are in a vehicle, the driver should pull over to a safe location as soon as possible. Then, apply the brakes, stay seated with your belt fastened, and wait until the shaking stops. Once it has stopped, you should drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps.
WHAT TO DO AFTER
First and foremost, you should remain calm and check others nearby for injuries and – if necessary – get first aid.
You should swiftly look for any damages and hazards around you and adapt accordingly. Do not rush outside or towards damaged or hazardous areas immediately after the shaking stops.
Check for small fires and extinguish if possible and safe. Or if you smell gas or hear a potential leak, turn off the gas and, if possible, open a window and get out immediately.
If you are on public transport or in a commercial building or store, listen carefully and follow the instructions of those in charge; emergency procedures will likely be in place.
Always be aware of your surroundings so you are ready to Drop, Cover and Hold for aftershocks. These can happen just minutes after the initial shock.
Finally, use social media or text messages to contact loved ones, in order to keep phone lines clear for emergency services, and stay informed via radio or the internet.
If you see water rising, don’t hesitate – act quickly and head for high ground.
However, if you receive a warning or believe flooding is possible, be ready to evacuate with your grab bag, move valuables and animals to high ground, and turn off utilities if advised. Always stay tuned to emergency services via radio, television or the internet.
You must avoid floodwater as it is dangerous to walk, swim or drive through and is likely contaminated, creating various health hazards. So, you should practice good hygiene following any contact with floodwater.
WHAT TO DO AFTER
Avoid affected areas and do not return to your home or accommodation until you have been given the all-clear by Civil Defence and emergency services, even if you believe it safe to do so.
Dispose of food and water that has been in floodwater and avoid using tap water for drinking or food preparation, as it may be contaminated. Follow any instructions provided by local authorities, including boil water notices.
Visit the Ministry of Primary Industries’ website for further food safety information.
If you are a resident, you should ensure your house and all your belongings are cleaned and dried, to avoid a build-up of mould, germs and bugs. It’s safer to bin things that can’t be thoroughly and safely cleaned, such as wooden spoons, plastics and baby products.
Listen to the radio for advice and instructions from Civil Defence.
If possible, find shelter in a vehicle or building. To protect yourself from volcanic ashfall, wear a protective mask or cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief, cloth, shirt, or something similar.
Stay indoors and close all doors and windows to restrict the entry of volcanic ash, which is a health hazard.
Use social media and texting to contact friends and family. This will help keep the phone lines clear for emergency calls.
If you must go outside, wear protective gear such as masks and goggles and keep your skin covered. Glasses are fine but do not wear contact lenses because they cause corneal abrasions.
If you are a resident, disconnect drain pipes from gutters and your water tank (if your system collects rainwater).
WHAT TO DO AFTER
Avoid restricted and hazardous areas and stay tuned to local broadcasts and websites for advice and instructions.
Stay indoors, unless instructed otherwise, and wait until the all-clear by authorities before you go outside. Keep animals indoors and keep them as clean as possible so they don’t ingest ash.
If you are a resident, and only when it is safe to go outside, clear your gutters and roof of ash to prevent it from collapsing.
Do not drive during heavy ashfall. It can clog the engine and damage your vehicle.
When cleaning, wear eye protection, a mask, and moisten the ash with a damp cloth or sprinkler – this reduces the chances of getting ash particles in your eyes or respiratory system.
Stay tuned to local and national broadcasts and check for updates on the authorities’ social media and websites, for information and instructions.
During a pandemic, you may need to stay at home or in isolated accommodation if you are feeling sick or caring for someone who is sick or dependent.
Stock up on essential supplies such as bottled water, food and usual medicines so that you don’t have to risk going out to the shops.
Keep contact details of friends, family and neighbours nearby, in case you need any support.
Strictly follow any official instructions until you are told otherwise by local authorities, to keep yourself and everyone else nearby as safe as possible.
For official information on infection prevention and control advice specific to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), please refer to the following links:
For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Ministry of Health website.
Other useful links for travellers:
If a threat is made, a suspicious object is discovered, or someone is armed – or allegedly concealing a weapon – then treat it as a terror situation until proven otherwise.
You should protect yourself and others immediately and stay away from any unusual or suspicious objects as they may be explosive.
Dial 111 and notify the police as soon as you have a safe opportunity to do so. Follow their instructions closely.
If you are directly engaged with the person:
- Stay calm and keep the person talking – never interrupt
- Let them feel in charge of the situation
- Attract help or notify the police as soon as you or someone is safe to do so
- Get away from the threat without putting you or anyone else in harm’s way
Tauranga Hospital and Emergency Department
829 Cameron Road, Tauranga 3112
Phone +64 7 579 8000
Whakatāne Hospital and Emergency Department
Stewart Street, Whakatāne 3120
Phone +64 7 306 0999
Waihī Beach Medical Centre
47 Wilson Road, Waihī Beach
Phone +64 7 863 5757
AFTER HOURS DOCTORS
Accident & Healthcare
Open everyday 8am-9pm
19 2nd Avenue, Tauranga 3112
Phone +64 7 577 0010
AFTER HOURS CHEMISTS/PHARMACIES
Unichem John’s Photo Pharmacy
Open everyday 8am-8pm
292 Cameron Road, Tauranga 3112
Phone +64 7 578 3566
Unichem Mount Dispensary
8am-6:30pm, Mon - Fri
8am-3pm Sat, Sun and public holidays
42 Girven Road, Mount Maunganui
Phone: +64 7 574 8645