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Emergency staff keep an eye on the storm

MEDIA RELEASE #1 – Cyclone Lusi

Friday, 14 March 2014

Emergency staff keep an eye on the storm

The Manawatu-Wanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group is advising people to stay abreast of local weather forecasts as Cyclone Lusi makes its way down the country this weekend.

While there are currently no specific weather warnings in place for the Region, high winds are expected and Horizons Regional Council emergency manager Ian Lowe says it is best to be prepared.

“Weather forecasts and warnings are likely to change as the cyclone moves closer and its potential impacts become clear,” Mr Lowe says.

“While we’re not expecting a massive amount of rain at this stage, we are anticipating severe gales across the Region over Saturday and Sunday. As always with high winds, there is the potential for power cuts to occur so it is important to have a back-up plan in place.”

Emergency management staff throughout the Region will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and maintain a high level of readiness.

The Region’s residents are advised to keep up to date with official weather warnings and forecasts from MetService.
With winter approaching, Mr Lowe says people should expect storms as part of seasonal weather conditions and ensure they are prepared.
Detailed advice about what to do before, during and after a storm is available on the Get Thru website www.getthru.govt.nz or by contacting your local council’s emergency management officer.
Before a storm
• Develop a Household Emergency Plan. Assemble and maintain your Emergency Survival Items for your home as well as a portable getaway kit.
• Prepare your property for high winds. Secure large heavy objects or remove any item which can become a deadly or damaging missile. Get your roof checked regularly to make sure it is secure. List items that may need to be secured or moved indoors when strong winds are forecast.
• Keep materials at hand for repairing windows, such as tarpaulins, boards and duct tape.
• If you are renovating or building, make sure all work complies with the New Zealand building code which has specific standards to minimize storm damage.
• If farming, know which paddocks are safe to move livestock away from floodwaters, landslides and power lines.
When a warning is issued and during a storm
• Stay informed on weather updates. Listen to your local radio stations as civil defence authorities will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
• Put your household emergency plan into action and check your getaway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry.
• Secure, or move indoors, all items that could get blown about and cause harm in strong winds.
• Close windows, external and internal doors. Pull curtains and drapes over unprotected glass areas to prevent injury from shattered or flying glass.
• If the wind becomes destructive, stay away from doors and windows and shelter further inside the house.
• Water supplies can be affected so it is a good idea to store drinking water in containers and fill bathtubs and sinks with water.
• Don't walk around outside and avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.
• Power cuts are possible in severe weather. Unplug small appliances which may be affected by electrical power surges. If power is lost unplug major appliances to reduce the power surge and possible damage when power is restored.
• Bring pets inside. Move stock to shelter. If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you.
After a storm
• Listen to your local radio stations as emergency management officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
• Check for injuries and help others if you can, especially people who require special assistance.
• Look for and report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.
• Contact your local council if your house or building has been severely damaged.
• If your property or contents are damaged take notes and photographs and contact your insurance company. Inform your landlord if there is damage to the rental property.
• Ask your council for advice on how to clean up debris safely.
ENDS


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