Civil Defence will be visiting yellow stickered homes today and over this week to check and see how these residents are coping.
Around 380 homes in Westport were yellow stickered following the devasting floods. Over the last week, residents have been busy removing water-damaged material in order to return to their homes.
The Buller Emergency Management Controller has permitted residents to stay in these homes once power and water were reconnected due to limited temporary housing available.
Recovery Manager Bob Dickson says the Civil Defence teams are focused on checking if those living in yellow stickered properties need any extra support.
“We realise people want to return to their homes, but if a dwelling hasn’t dried out, it could pose a health risk, particularly to those with respiratory conditions,” says Mr Dickson.
“We encourage people to do what they can to speed up the process of making their home habitable. This includes simple things such as opening windows and using dehumidifiers, or using a heat source to help dry out moisture and prevent mould.
“For more complex work, we recommend seeking advice from your insurance company to check if a tradesperson is required.
“Remember to also support your neighbours, who may need a helping hand during this challenging time.”
Mr Dickson says while temporary accommodation was in high demand, there are options available to support residents requiring housing. For those who have insurance, discuss this with your insurance provider.
“Please don’t be too proud to ask for help and look out for one another. We’re all in this together and we will get through, but it will take some time. It will be a marathon, not a sprint.”
He says there has also been some confusion about red stickered homes and if these were able to be entered.
“While the sticker says entry prohibited, people are allowed to enter to get anything they need.”
Residents who have any questions or require temporary accommodation can contact the Emergency Operations Centre on 0800 768 348, or drop into the Community Hub at NSB Theatre between 9am and 4pm.
Read our Yellow stickered homes handout for more information.