The Met Service has issued a severe weather warning of heavy rain and strong winds of up to 150 km/h expected to approach the west side the South Island this evening (Tuesday, 24 June 2014) before slowly moving east overnight through to Wednesday (25 June 2014).
Wet weather and gale force winds are predicted to continue toward Marlborough and Wellington, then Westland, Buller, Otago and Canterbury. Other areas expected to be affected are Mount Taranaki, Northland and Auckland.
While it is not possible to avoid severe weather, there are things you can do to help protect your family, home and belongings:
– Trim trees and overhanging branches. High winds can cause trees and branches to fall and cause damage to your home and endanger your family.
– Secure loose items outside. Loose items left in your garden or on your deck can take flight in high winds and cause damage to people and properties. Tie down, move inside or find a sheltered place to store large, heavy objects like BBQ covers, outdoor chairs and tables, sun umbrellas and trampolines – anything that could become airborne in harsh weather.
– Keep your gutters clean. During heavy rain, blocked gutters can result in water getting into your roof, seeping through your ceiling and causing damage to the walls, flooring and furniture. Gutters should be cleaned every six months. Also, ensure your drains are free from blockages so water can flow easily when there is rain. You should also make sure your roof is in good repair each year.
– Check your insurance policies. Make sure cover for your home, contents, vehicles and other valuables is current and adequate. Keep copies of important documents in your emergency kit.
– Develop a household emergency plan and prepare an emergency survival kit. Have a stock of basic survival items such as drinking water, spare batteries for your torch and radio and a portable survival kit in case you need to get away in a hurry. The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management’s Get Thru Get Ready website has useful information on how to prepare emergency plans and kits: www.getthru.govt.nz. You can also follow them on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NZGetThru for up-to-the-minute information.
– Make sure you’ve got a full tank of gas. If power is cut, you may not get a chance to fill up.
– Withdraw some spare cash. ATM machines may not be working, so make sure you have some money to hand.
– Remember pets and livestock. If you live on a farm, take care to move livestock away from floodwaters, landslides and power lines and into a safe paddock. Remember to bring pets inside and take them with you if you need to leave your home.
– Stay informed of weather updates. Tune into your local radio station to hear civil defence broadcasts most relevant to your community. The Met Service also has the latest weather information for the whole country: www.metservice.com.
If you are concerned that your property could be in a flood prone area, contact your local district council who will be able to help you.
In the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim and you are an IAG customer, you can reach us using the details below:
Telephone: 0800 100 200
Telephone: 0800 80 24 24
Telephone: 0800 227 653
Telephone: 0800 800 800