Horowhenua residents urged to prepare for winter weather

Published on 21 May 2018

Storm damage.

Horowhenua District Council reminds residents to be prepared for wild weather as we move into winter.

There are a number of things people can do ahead of time to help their families get through winter storms safely and minimise damage to their properties, said Horowhenua Emergency Management Officer Andrew Howard.

“People should make sure the gutters and drains near their properties are clear. Check that autumn leaves aren’t causing blockages that could prevent or restrict water from draining away during heavy rain,” he said.

“If you have trees on or near your property, consider whether trunks or branches damaged in a storm could fall onto your house or across your driveway. Trees or branches in dangerous positions may need to be removed, especially if the tree is in poor health or a brittle species, such as wattle. However, if the tree is near a power line, contact Electra for professional help with removing or cutting it back safely.

“For properties with fireplaces or fireboxes, check that chimneys and flues haven’t become blocked by birds’ nests or leaves.”

Mr Howard said people should be aware of the potential hazards in their local area and plan accordingly.

“If your home is in a low-lying area prone to flooding, it’s a good idea to have your own sandbags ready to use. Similarly, if you live in a rural area prone to slips, have enough food and supplies of other essentials, such as medications, for a few days in case you get cut off.”

In addition, people should prepare for possible power outages, he said.

“Have ready a torch, a transistor radio, spare batteries and a gas cooker in case of power outages. If you live in a rural area, remember that your water pump won’t work during a power outage. Make sure you have enough water stored for washing, drinking and cooking and consider buying a generator.”

People can obtain further information on being prepared from the Civil Defence page of Council’s website, websites such as www.happens.nz and www.getthru.govt.nz, or by picking up a copy of the Never Happens? Happens guide from Council’s customer service centres.

Those wishing to purchase sandbags can obtain them from MasterMix Foxton, 21R Bergin Road, Foxton.