Get your home ready for bad weather
We’ve put together some tips to help you prepare your home for the severe rainy and windy conditions we sometimes experience.
When stormy weather is on the horizon, a bit of maintenance and preparation goes a long way. And, in Āotearoa New Zealand, you can bet that wild weather will arrive at some point. Whether it's a cyclone, heavy rain or strong wind, our little island nation gets its share! The good news is that you can help protect your family, neighbours and your property by paying attention to weather alerts and getting ready in advance.
Here are some things you can do to help see you through a major weather event:
We know, it's not the most exciting way to spend the weekend, but those gutters and drains do an important job. There are a few gardening tasks that achieve more than just a pretty yard. Stay on top of these home maintenance jobs to avoid a bigger issue down the line.
- Keep gutters and drains clear of leaves and muck with a regular clean.
- Check your roof for any signs of damage, particularly tiles and flashings.
- Cut down any loose tree branches as these can become projectiles in high wind.
- Check that your fences are in good condition.
- Remove or fix loose boards as these can also get picked up by the wind.
Tip: remember ladder safety when carrying out any checks or maintenance at height.
Before a storm
Fortunately, we have some excellent storm warning systems in New Zealand, and it's likely you'll get a day or two to prepare ahead of a large storm. Use that time wisely by doing the things below.
- First, check the maintenance list above and make sure you're up to date with those important tasks.
- Ensure heavy items in your backyard are secure and won’t blow around. We’re looking at you, trampolines, outdoor furniture and BBQs!
- Place precious and irreplaceable items like family albums and important documents up high.
- Bring pets inside and move stock to higher ground.
- Park your car off the road if you can. It'll be safest in a garage or carport.
- Write down a few emergency contacts, like your plumber and electrician, in case you lose internet access.
- Consider using sandbags to protect your home if it's flood prone.
- Close all your windows and doors.
You are more important than your stuff! Don't forget to take steps to ensure your safety and that of your family ahead of a big weather event.
- Make sure you have an emergency kit and that it's correctly stocked.
- Create an emergency plan for your household.
- Charge your phone in case you lose power.
Tip: Download the official Red Cross Hazard App to get warnings and alerts on when bad weather is on the way.
Once the bad weather has passed, make sure everyone is safe. Then check for damage or loose material on and around your house. If you need to make a claim, it’s a good idea to take photos of any damage, list damaged items and make your claim online. Don’t start non-essential repairs without your insurance company’s approval.
For more information, visit the Get Ready website and read their handy guide on what to do before, during or after a storm.