Here are some practical things you can do to prepare for any severe weather that will help keep you, your home and your family safe and protected:
– 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: getthru.govt.nz. You can also follow them on Twitter: @NZGetThru for up-to-the-minute information.
– Stay informed of weather updates. Tune into your local radio station to hear civil defence broadcasts most relevant to your community. As well as their website, www.metservice.com, MetService also has a Twitter feed you can follow for the latest weather updates, @MetService.
– 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 your stuff 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 severe weather.
– Keep your gutters clean. Gutters should be cleaned every six months. 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. Also, ensure your drains are free from blockages so water can flow easily when there is rain. You should 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.
– 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.
In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to make a claim following an event such as a cyclone, and you are an customer of an IAG brand, you can contact us on:
Telephone: 0800 80 24 24
Telephone: 0800 100 200
Contact your broker or telephone: 0800 227 653
Telephone: 0800 800 800
Telephone: 0800 11 18 88