Parts of Canterbury and areas in the Waimakariri district are being affected by dust storms with gusts up to 110mph and vegetation fires due to high temperatures today (04 February 2015). Here’s some tips to help keep you, your loved ones and your possessions safe until the fine weather returns:
Cars and driving
- Where possible, stay off the road but if you must travel or a storm occurs while you are driving, make sure you slow down as reduced visibility and the distraction of dust/ smoke can contribute to a greater likelihood of an accident. Where visibility is poor, nose-to-tail collisions are common. Slowing down will ensure everyone in the vehicle is safer and reduces the risk of an accident or the extent of damage should an accident occur.
- Move your car into your garage, or at least to a covered area. Try to get into a habit of doing this whenever extreme weather such as strong winds are forecast. Added shelter will help protect your car and it make it easier for you if you are getting to or from your vehicle.
Around the home
- Secure or move indoors any loose objects from around your garden, including sun shades, deck chairs or potted plants. Close any sun canopies.
- Seal your windows and draw blinds and shutters.
- Tune into your local radio station for weather updates in your area. The Met Service also has the latest information on weather across New Zealand. Visit: www.metservice.com or follow @MetService on Twitter.
- Make a list of emergency numbers and keep them to hand – you never know when you might need them.
- As fascinating as storms are, you are well advised to watch them from indoors. If you cannot make it to the house, try to avoid being close to trees. Broken branches or flying objects could hurt or injure you.
- After the storm, check your vehicle and/or house for any damage and report it to your insurance company.
If you’re an IAG customer and need to make a claim, we’re here to help:
Telephone: 0800 80 24 24
Telephone: 0800 100 200
Telephone: 0800 227 653
Telephone: 0800 800 800
Telephone: 0800 11 18 88 or 0800 80 12 10 (out of hours)