Storms are common in New Zealand, especially during winter months. Occastionally a stronger, more severe storm or cyclone may occur. During serious weather events, the Civil Defence may declare a state of emergency.
Here are our top 5 tips based on the Civil Defence's advice for what to do during a severe storm:
1. Be informed
Listen to the radio or follow social media for updated emergency information and instructions from your local emergency management officials. Large storms can cause landslides, flooding and make driving conditions hazardous, so staying informed can help you know what to do to stay safe.
2. Have a plan
Make sure you have an emergency plan that includes where you will go if you need to evacuate, what you’ll take, how to contact family/friends and how you will evacuate pets. You should have at least three days’ supply of food, water and other essentials for use at home in case of emergency. You should also have a Getaway Kit of warm clothing, water, food, medication and important documents in case you have to evacuate.
3. Secure your property
Prepare your property for high winds by securing, or moving indoors, all items that could get blown about. Help others prepare if you can. Check on your neighbours, especially those who are older, have young children or have a mental or physical disability.
4. Avoid exposed, flood prone areas
If you live in low-lying regions be ready to act. Floods and flash floods can happen quickly. If you see rising water don’t wait for an official warning to move. Heed the natural warnings and self-evacuate if you need to.
5. Avoid travel
If you do need to travel keep up to date with the latest road and weather information. Allow extra time for your journey and be prepared for challenging driving conditions, including debris on the road, and possible detours and road closures.
Storms and cyclones NIWA