Prioritise your safety to avoid the possibility of further harm. Choose a safe place to go to and trusted people to be with.
After traumatic events, it's normal to find that you feel more anxious about your safety and others' safety too. Remember, you're not alone - our Support Workers and other community organisations are here to help you to work out the next steps you can take. We want everyone who has experienced a crime or traumatic event to feel safe and supported.
It's important to prioritise your safety. After traumatic events, it's normal to find that you feel more anxious about your safety and others' safety too. Remember, you're not alone - our Support Workers and other community organisations are here to help you to work out the next steps you can take. We want everyone who has experienced a crime or traumatic event to feel safe and supported.
If you or others have been injured, see a doctor, go to a hospital emergency department or call an ambulance on 111 regardless of whether you decide to report the incident or not.
A professional medical assessment can help your recovery and ensure physical safety.
Depending on the incident, consider having the doctor prepare a medical report that can be shared with police, if you are comfortable doing that.
We provide 24/7 free, confidential emotional and practical support and information to anyone affected by crime, suicide and traumatic events, including their whānau and witnesses. We are here for you in your time of crisis to help you feel empowered, make choices and access the services you need to feel safe and in control. We are here for you if you choose to report a crime and even if you don’t.
You can call us or visit our How we can help page to find out more about who we are, how we can help you and how to access our support.
If you have insurance, make an insurance claim as soon as you can. Your insurance company will explain what you need to do next. It may be making a list of missing or damaged items, keeping any damaged items in case they need to be assessed by the insurer or keeping receipts for the expenses resulting from the incident.
It’s common for insurance companies to investigate this kind of claim. You can help them by remembering and noting down as much as you can about any events leading up to or during the incident.
If you don't have insurance, it can take more time to get back on your feet, but support is available to help you cope through what’s happened.
Most people find that unexpectedly witnessing a crime or traumatic incident or discovering the aftermath is disturbing and distressing. Even if you weren’t physically harmed you may still be psychologically affected by what you have seen or heard.
Witnesses often experience a wide range of strong reactions including shock and disbelief, fear, horror, helplessness, anger or grief. You may be overwhelmed or perhaps numb and unable to feel anything at first. You may find you're asking yourself if you could have prevented it, done something different, or helped. You may replay the events in your mind and find it hard to stop distressing thoughts and images. It is common to feel guilty that you witnessed or discovered something so major in someone else’s life and that you were physically unharmed.
It is important to recognise that just because you weren’t directly involved, it doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by what happened. We are here for you if you need support.
For many, a ceremonial blessing of the site where a person has died is an essential part of processing the loss. It acknowledges of the spiritual impact of the tragedy and protects and guides the spirit of the deceased. It respects and honours the dignity of the deceased person, their family, whānau, and community.
For Māori, it can include lifting of the tapu on the site and karakia. Other cultural and faith groups have their own unique blessing ceremonies. Some family or whānau members may choose to visit the scene and be part of a blessing ceremony and others may not. They may prefer to hold a private blessing or open it to whomever would like to come, including from the community.
If you are an immediate family or whānau member wishing to organise a blessing for the site, you could contact your kaumātua, local marae, church or faith centre, the police officer who has been working with you, a Police Iwi Liaison Officer, or speak to a Support Worker.
If you don't personally know the family or whānau but witnessed or discovered the incident, you can speak to a Support Worker if you'd like to attend a blessing, provided it is open to the public and the family or whānau are comfortable with that.
Call the police non-emergency number on 105
Fill in a New Zealand Police 105 report
Find your local police station - Talk to the person at the front counter and they will advise you about what to do. If your nearest station is a small or rural station, call 105 to make sure someone is there to help you. You may want to take a trusted person with you for support.
You may consider speaking to someone you trust for advice like a family or whānau member, close friend, community or cultural leader, or your Victim Support Worker.
You can anonymously report the incident by phone or by submitting an online form to Crime Stoppers.
Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support
Call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected to a Support Worker for assistance.
Support through the criminal justice system
Look in this directory to find a New Zealand lawyer
If you are experiencing family violence and harm, consider making a safety plan. This is a plan of future actions you can take to keep you and your family and whānau members safe if you feel threatened or are in immediate danger. Everyone’s situation is different; Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support and other local support services can help you to prepare an individual plan that works for you, when the time is right.
Reporting what happened to police as soon as possible can keep you or others from experiencing further harm but you can still report a crime to police regardless of how long ago it happened.
Support is here for you when things get tough. You don't have to face it alone. Reach out to these confidential and non-judgmental services to discuss your situation and get the help you need.
Aotearoa New Zealand experiences different natural disasters, including extreme storms, cyclones, flooding, earthquakes and volcanic activity, that pose significant risks and hazards to people and property.
It is important to be prepared and stay informed about environmental and weather-related disasters, as they can have significant consequences. They can occur rapidly, becoming threatening without warning, at any time of the day or night. These disasters can cause disruption, property damage, injuries, and even fatalities, adding to the emotional impact on individuals affected by them.
Experiencing changes to your daily life, surrounding environment, community, and to your home or property can be disorienting and overwhelming. The emotional and financial impacts can be hard to deal with if you have lost your home or valued possessions and are facing potential evacuation, relocation, or the daunting task of restoring or rebuilding.
During such challenging times, families, whānau, friends, neighbours, local businesses and communities often come together to support one another as they cope with the aftermath and recovery process.
Different natural disasters will require slightly different responses but always ensure you prioritise your safety before, during, and after a significant natural event to avoid the possibility of harm. If you have a household emergency plan, put it into action.
In the event of rising floodwaters or a tsunami threat, don’t wait for official warnings. Take immediate action to move yourself, others, and any accessible pets or livestock to higher ground as quickly as possible. Avoid driving or walking through flood waters unless absolutely necessary to ensure personal safety.
If you have experienced an earthquake or volcanic unrest, stay indoors where you are safest. If the earthquake lasts longer than a minute or is strong enough to make it difficult to stand, move quickly to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can out of tsunami evacuation zones.
You can listen to the radio or TV for advice on what to do, or visit the NEMA Civil Defence website for updates on current emergencies. It’s important you follow the directions of police or other emergency services who may request certain actions, such as evacuation. Be prepared to evacuate quickly.
If you, a family member, or others have been injured, or are unwell from the after-effects such as smoke, ashfall, or water-borne illnesses, get medical assistance as soon as you can.
If you are in an emergency health situation call 111 for an ambulance. Local community sites may also set up first aid relief - check with your local Civil Defence group.
If the power goes out, a solar or battery-powered radio (or your car radio) can help you keep up to date with the latest news. If your area has cellular service, use social media or text messages instead of calling to keep phone lines clear for emergency calls.
Do not enter your severely damaged house or property unless an emergency services official has given you permission to. Your health and safety must come first. Earthquake or flood damage can cause dangerous hazards. There can be, for example, carcinogenic ash and toxic gases that are unsafe to inhale, or electrical wiring or gas outlets that need professional checking or disconnecting, unstable house foundations, or contaminated water and mould in the home.
If you are granted access to your home, prioritise locating your essential items such as medication, health equipment, valuables, personal identification cards and papers, insurance information and other key documents or records you will need.
If you’re renting, let your landlord/landlady or housing agency know as soon as possible about any urgent repairs that must be done.
After a flooding disaster, It is possible that your house or business may be assessed as being 'unsanitary' if flood waters have been through it. This means you may not be able to continue to occupy the building until restoration has been completer, repairs have been made, or safety checks have been completed by an emergency services official.
After an earthquake your home may have sustained structural damage making it unfit to live in.
If you can't return to your home, you’ll need to organise some accommodation. You might need to stay with family, whānau, friends, in a local community shelter, or in a local motel for a night or two. It may be for longer if there has been serious damage to your property.
It’s a good idea to get your home secured, as soon as possible. This may include fixing a broken window or door, or cleaning up debris when it is safe to do so. If you have pets, make sure they haven’t been let out through an open door, broken window or gate.
If your house can no longer be lived in, board up openings and secure your property to discourage trespassers. Your Emergency Services contact can advise you about this.
If you’re renting, let your landlord/landlady or housing agency know as soon as possible that you are unable to return to the property.
Only if it’s safe to do so, you can take photos and/or videos of the scene if there has been damage. Record the actions you take to keep your home safe, sanitary, and weather-tight,and keep a copy of any receipts for insurance purposes. This will help insurance companies with their investigation (where applicable).
After the incident notify key people and organisations for guidance, assistance, and support:
Your private home insurance policy should include an amount for natural disaster insurance, which is provided by the Earthquake Commission (EQC) | Toka Tū Ake and is called EQCover.
It can really help when families, whānau, friends, and neighbours come together to support each other during and after a natural disaster. Communities often unite to clean up debris and damage, fostering genuine bonds and offering unique local support. This shared support is found to be encouraging and helpful by many people.
A natural disaster is a shocking, sudden and overwhelming disruption to everyday life. If you have survived a natural disaster, you may have many emotions and practical issues to deal with. If you have had loved ones, including pets, killed or injured in the disaster, you will be grieving their loss. You may be injured yourself and facing a long recovery or an uncertain future. If you had a lucky escape, you may feel great relief, but you may also feel guilt for surviving if others were not as fortunate.
You may be grieving for the property and/or possessions you have lost and feeling overwhelmed if you have lost everything. You may also be profoundly affected by the damage around you and the upheaval. After a natural disaster, the practical and emotional challenges of evacuating, relocating, restoring or rebuilding are huge.
You may have lots of “what if” questions as you try to make sense of the impact of the disaster. It is common to feel that the world is a less safe place after a disaster, and you may find yourself feeling on edge and fearful for your safety.
If children or young people live in a property or community that’s been badly affected by a natural event, they are likely to need extra reassurance and support, especially if things of theirs have been lost or damaged or if they have been displaced from their home. It’s common for children and young people to experience on-going anxieties after a serious natural disaster.