Protecting your health in an emergency

In the event of an emergency, ordinary systems and services are often disrupted and unhealthy conditions can develop. You may survive a major disaster but be at risk of serious illness.

This section includes information for before, during and after an emergency on water, food safety, getting rid of rubbish, disposing of sewage, accommodation, looking after yourself, hazardous substances, volcanic ash and pests.

The most likely causes of civil emergency in New Zealand are:

  • floods
  • earthquakes
  • storms (cyclones, tornadoes)
  • forest fires
  • volcanic eruptions
  • tsunamis (tidal waves).

This section has 3 parts that tell you how you can protect your health in an emergency.


Preparing for an emergency

Information to help you work towards being ready if a disaster happens.


During an emergency

Advice on what to do during an emergency, such as a flood or volcanic eruption.


After an emergency

It may take time to get everything back to normal after an emergency. This page has advice on how to take care of yourself and your family afterwards.

Find out more from the Ministry

For the health sector, careful planning for national emergencies is critical to safeguarding the public health care system. Find out more in Emergency management.

Download and order

Protecting Your Health in an Emergency cover.
Protecting Your Health in an Emergency
Available on HealthEd.


Natural disasters

Health advice for specific disasters.

Back to top