Still Mind Clinical Psychology | Cyclone Gabrielle
Mental health and practical support for Hawke's Bay residents of Napier, Hastings, Havelock North and Central Hawke's Bay in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle and the flooding
Cyclone Gabrielle, Flooding, Hawke's Bay
page-template-default,page,page-id-15844,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.2.3,vc_responsive

Cyclone Gabrielle

Where and how to find support and information


The devastation brought by Cyclone Gabrielle has impacted our community significantly.  People are demonstrating that by supporting one another we can ease the devastation that some of us are experiencing.

Please check Hawke’s Bay Emergency Management Group page for information:

Asking for Help

·      111 if it’s an emergency and your life is in danger.

·       105 if you can make calls and need help


Mental Health – Challenging emotions are normal after a disaster

Experiencing and living with the aftermath of a cyclone and flooding event may result in some emotions, thoughts and behaviours that feel frightening, intense and confusing.  This is a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances.  Our bodies will react in a way that feels uncomfortable but is protective.

Normal reactions to traumatic events may feel unsettling and typically can leave one with the following difficulties:

  • feeling overwhelmed
  • feeling numb and detached
  • difficulties  focusing
  • inability to plan ahead
  • constant tearfulness
  • intrusive memories or bad dreams related to the event
  • sleep disturbances
  • constant questioning – “What if I had done x, y or z, instead?”
  • ‘replaying’ the event and inventing different outcomes in order to be prepared should it happen again.

Be open to the fact that a friend, loved one or work colleague may see these reactions in you, often when you do not.

  • They may see you are detached, unfocused, anxious, or tearful without provocation.
  • Listen to the opinions of people that you trust.
  • It is a sign of respect to friends and family to act on their advice and discuss these issues with a GP or mental health professional.

If you experience any of the following this may be more than a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances and you should seek professional help

  • a sense that your emotional and/or physical reactions are not normal
  • thoughts of self-harm or of ending your life
  • loss of hope or interest in the future
  • avoiding things that bring back memories of what happened to the point where you’re unable to carry out day-to-day tasks
  • frequently being easily startled e.g. jumping when a door slams, and then taking a long time to calm down
  • feeling overwhelming fear for no obvious reason
  • panic attack symptoms: increased heart rate, breathlessness, shakiness, dizziness and a sudden urge to go to the toilet
  • excessive guilt about things that were or weren’t said and done.

Dealing with the emotional impact of a disaster

  • spend time with people who care
  • give yourself time
  • find out about the impact of trauma and what to expect
  • try to keep some sort of  routine going where possible e.g. eating, sleeping, work, study routines
  • when and where possible return to normal activities
  • talk about how you feel about what happened when you are ready
  • do things that help you relax
  • set realistic goals that keep you motivated, but don’t take on too much (most people in this situation talk of recovery as a journey not a sprint)
  • review and reward progress – notice even the small steps
  • be prepared for times when you feel you are making no progress, everyone experiences this
  • talk about the ups and downs of recovery with friends, family and the health professionals involved in your care
  • have a plan to maintain positive changes and plans to deal with times of stress or reminders of the trauma.
  • Talk to your GP or contact a mental health professional if you don’t feel you are making much progress a few months down the track

If you have power and internet coverage you may find these podcasts useful:✓&q=cyclone+Gabrielle+mental+health&commit=Search

Finding friends and family: 

  • If you are looking for loved ones, you can log a request via this form: or contact police on 105.
  • If you are communicating with people who cannot call 111 themselves, please forward information about their circumstances and location to  Place the most critical information in the subject line to assist emergency services with triaging.
  • If you are willing and able to volunteer to help with the recovery, please register your details with

Travel on our roads

  • Do not attempt to drive in flood-affected areas as it is unsafe to do so and bow waves can cause more damage.
  • Check the Waka Kotahi Journeys app or page for the latest information


Staying Healthy

  • Do your best to avoid contact with floodwaters. Floodwaters can contain sewage, toxic chemicals, and hidden debris. If you do come into contact with floodwaters clean yourself and any clothing/shoes thoroughly.
  • Remember to wash and dry your hands every time you use the toilet or handle human waste.
  • Use hand sanitiser whenever possible.


  • The water in our taps is safe to drink and it is important to stay hydrated.
  • For other water needs, restrict your use – don’t rush to flush, limit showering, do the dishes by hand, and wash clothes by hand. Do not wash paving or driveways.
  • Do not hose silt into driveways. This will clog the stormwater and cause flooding even in minor rain.
  • More information can be found at:


Waste and Rubbish

  • All rubbish collections are cancelled this week.
  • Store all rubbish and recycling at your home. Do not leave it out on the street.
  • Limit the number of people handling waste – nominate one family member to manage the collection and disposal of waste.
  • Store spoiled food in a way that stops animals from accessing it. Cover all containers and holes to reduce smells and flies.


Power and Gas

  • Please treat all damaged and downed lines as live, and report faults and outages at or by phoning 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476).
  • Power is still out across Napier and some other parts of Hawke’s Bay due to the flooding of the Redclyffe substation.
  • Transpower and Unison are attempting to bypass Redclyffe substation to allow power to be restored.
  • In Napier we need to be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time. Please be patient as crews work hard to restore power.
  • When you are reconnected to the network, conserve power to ensure there is enough for everyone. Look for every opportunity to save power: turn off air-conditioning, turn devices off at the wall rather than leaving on standby, reduce use of lights and high consumption devices.
  • LPG gas is in good supply and home deliveries will recommence once the roads are clear.



Access to Medical Services

Check the Facebook page for information about which Medical Centres and Pharmacies are Open

📍 For general health advice, or if you’re just not sure where you need to go to seek help, call Healthline New Zealand on 0800 611 116.

📍 Health services open:

🩺Napier: The Doctors Napier (8am-9pm),
City Medical (for urgent care) 24/7

🩺Hastings District: GPs operating as normal. Please check websites for opening hours or call ahead.

Please DON NOT go to the Emergency Department for medication or minor injuries


Animal Welfare

If you need to evacuate your home and can’t keep your pets with you, the Ministry for Primary Industries with animal charities HUHA and SPCA, have set up a temporary animal shelter for companion animals. You can take your animals to the Hawke’s Bay Racecourse at 300 Prospect Road, Hastings.


Access to Food 

  • Supermarkets are up and running with generators.
  • More supplies will be arriving over the next few days to restock the shelves.
  • Only buy enough food for a few days to ensure there is enough to go around.
  • Buy long-life food that doesn’t need to go in the fridge or freezer.


Financial Support

  • Work and Income can provide financial support in the form of a civil defence payment.
  •  You may qualify if you are in one of these situations because of the emergency:
    – You had to leave your home (e.g. you’ve been evacuated or you’re on stand-by)
    – You were away from your home at the time of the emergency and can’t return
    – You need help with food, bedding or clothing
    – You can’t go to work
  •  You do not need to be receiving a benefit or income support from WINZ to be eligible for these payments.
  • Please go to the Work and Income website for more information or call on 0800 400 100 (call centre open 7am-5pm Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm Saturday, and 8am-1pm Sunday).

Council Facilities

  • All council facilities will remain closed until further notice

Offering Help

If you are able to you can offer basic and immediate assistance to your neighbours and community.



If you wish to donate, please consider the following:

Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Fund

Red Cross New Zealand Disaster Fund.

The Tumu Group Cyclone Relief Fund

You can also find other places to donate here: