Health, safety and wellbeing

Recovering from a flood is a big job - mentally and physically. Recognise signs of anxiety, stress and fatigue and ensure you have the support and tools needed if you are struggling. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 111. 

Below is a list of safety and wellbeing links and resources for growers affected by flooding: 

Health and safety after adverse weather events

Be aware of health risks

Floodwater, mud and silt can contain a number of materials that can cause health problems. If you or someone around you is unwell, don't hesitate to seek medical advice or treatment. 


  • Flood water is often contaminated and can make you sick
  • Be conscious of contaminated water sources - particularly drinking water.
  • If you come in contact with floodwater, thoroughly clean hands, clothes and any property touched.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated. Follow any boil water notice instructions from your local authorities
  • Throw away any food or water that has been contaminated by floodwater.

Health and safety while cleaning up after a flood is critical. When working in flooded areas:  

  • Wear appropriate clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including: 
    - Trousers and long-sleeved clothing
    - Gumboots or other sturdy footwear
    - Waterproof / Nitrile gloves
    - Dust mask (N95 or P2)
    - Eye goggles.
  • Cover any cuts or wounds before starting work to protect from infection
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them properly after any contact with silt, mud, or flood-damaged property. If water is in short supply, use a bowl with disinfectant and clean water, or use hand sanitiser
  • Keep a clean set of clothing to change into after working in contaminated matter and bag contaminated clothing and PPE where practical
  • Avoid reusing dirty clothing. Wash dirty clothing and footwear and ensure it is properly dried before using again.

Floods can have a significant impact on an individual’s health, safety, wellbeing, and community.  Following a natural disaster, it’s normal to feel a range of emotions, so it’s important to give yourself time to recover mentally and process what has occurred.


Key support services

Rural Support Trust

Women's Rural Support Trust


Business Support Helpline - 0800 500 362

Need To Talk 1737? 

Lifelife - 0800 543 345

Healthline - 0800 611 116

Pacific Helpline - 0800 652 535

Youthline - 0800 376 633


Other wellbeing resources

Managing fatigue after Cyclone Gabrielle - WorkSafe

Melon Health - Wellbeing resources

Take a Moment wellbeing poster

'Umbrella wellbeing' webinar


If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 111.