As Aucklanders prepare to reunite with loved ones over the holiday season, there’s another thing they should be putting on their to-do list before heading out of town – their summer storm prep.
Aucklanders are often blessed with hot, sunny days over the summer period, but our tropical climate also means there’s the chance of sudden downpours and stormy weather.
Auckland Emergency Management Acting General Manager Paul Amaral says that it is important to prepare for unsettled conditions, particularly during cyclone season in December and January.
“The past four months have been difficult for Aucklanders, and we want to make sure they can relax and enjoy themselves over the festive season.
“There are a few things we can all do to lessen the impact of any sudden downpours and help put our minds at ease ahead of the holidays,” he says.
Aucklanders are encouraged to do things like check their drains, clear gutters, and make a note of what might need to be stored or tied down during a storm.
Councillor Sharon Stewart, Chair of the council’s Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee echoes the need to be prepared.
“It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, and this includes knowing what the weather forecast is in your area.
“Whether you are in Auckland for the holiday period or are travelling to see friends and whānau outside of the region, it’s always a good idea to check what the weather is doing in that area and follow the advice of the experts,” says Cr Stewart.
Always have a plan
Taking the time to Make a Plan for your household, will help you should an emergency event happen near you. Knowing what to do and where to meet family, friends or flatmates will be helpful during an emergency.
Being ready by preparing emergency items such as a torch and batteries, or a battery-operated radio will help should you be at home during an emergency.
Summer storm tips
Be prepared – pay attention to weather forecasts, plan your travel around them and prepare yourself before the storm hits.
Make a plan – make sure family, friends and flatmates know where to meet or what you’ll do in case of emergency.
Clear gutters and drains on your property, check trees for weak branches and bring the cat/dog/rabbit (or any other pets) inside.
Have torches and batteries, a full gas bottle for your BBQ and a battery-operated radio ready if the power goes out.
If you need power to pump water or operate septic systems, you should have an alternate plan in place for if the power goes out.
If where you live is isolated or you may get cut off, make sure you’ve got everything you need to keep going for a day or two and let us know if you need help (phone 0800 22 22 00).
Check on neighbours, especially those that are elderly or vulnerable and if you can’t help, alert emergency services.
If out and about, never drive through floodwaters and always drive to the conditions.
If your property is at risk or your life is in danger, always dial 111 immediately.
Report fallen trees, blocked drains or debris on public property to Auckland Council online or by calling 09 301 0101.