MetService has issued a heavy rain watch for Auckland, including Aotea Great Barrier Island, and strong wind watch for Auckland this weekend.
Auckland Emergency Management is in monitoring mode and advises Aucklanders to do the same.
AEM General Manager Paul Amaral says following weather updates and making sure you’ve got a plan ready, in case the worst happens, is important.
“MetService is tracking the potential impacts of a subtropical low expected to affect the upper North Island from the very early hours of Sunday morning and through to Monday.
“We urge Aucklanders to keep an eye on weather forecasts this weekend, and if you live in an area prone to flooding or isolation, make sure you’ve got a plan to secure your property, shelter in place if you need to or know what you might need to do if evacuation is required,” he says.
Read more about MetService watches and warnings here.
“Pre-storm checks include clearing gutters and drains on your property, securing loose items outdoors and checking your emergency plan is up to date.
“We’re expecting high winds and rain for some areas of Auckland, so remember in a storm consider your travel plans carefully, never drive through flood waters and phone 111 if your life is in danger.”
Some areas may be hit harder than others
Weather patterns can be volatile, changing course often and not allowing high degrees of accuracy on worst-affected areas.
“This makes it important for all Aucklanders to keep an eye on weather updates and make sensible decisions,” says Paul.
“Based on the latest advice from MetService, we are expecting areas on Auckland’s east coast, including Whangaparaoa and Aotea Great Barrier, to be hit with the most intense rainfall and wind.
“Charge your phones, ensure you have a torch ready and check your emergency plan,” he says.
Civil Defence Centres (CDCs)
“As part of our monitoring and preparation work, we’re doing a check of potential civil defence centres across the region.
“We can’t predict if or where these might be needed at this point,” says Paul. “But if there is a need to support people evacuating from their homes, we will stand up centres where they are needed.
Standing up a CDC includes making sure the site is safe for the public to access, isn’t affected by flooding (including in and around the area), arranging access and ensuring supplies are in place.
If you need to evacuate, and it is safe to do so, bring important medications, essential items for babies and children, and warm clothing with you.
Preparing for bad weather
- Check your drains and gutters to ensure they aren’t blocked. These can cause flooding issues during heavy rain.
- Secure outdoor furniture and items in your backyard
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast.
- Take extreme care if you are driving in heavy rain, and delay trips if possible. Do not drive through floodwaters.
- If life or property is at risk, phone 111.
- Looking out for neighbours, friends and family will also be important, especially if you live, work or travel in an area that is prone to flooding, slips or power outages.
- Fallen trees, blocked drains or debris on public property can be reported to Auckland Council using our online ‘Report a Problem’ tool.
- If your property is damaged, take photographs for your insurer as early as possible
If out and about in a storm
Always drive to the weather conditions and never drive through floodwaters.
If you get stuck in a flood, get out of your car and move to higher ground immediately, taking great care in the floodwaters.
Never play in or walk through floodwaters unnecessarily, you may encounter unseen objects, dangerous debris or holes.
If driving at night, drive slowly, especially through flood-prone areas as you may encounter flooding at short notice.
Never attempt to drive over slips and treat power lines as live at all times.
Check on neighbours and family, especially if they are in at-risk areas or might be affected by flooding or slips.
Pets and livestock
If you live on a rural property, think about your livestock rotation, especially if areas of your farms are flood-prone.
- If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you – if you can do so safely – or take them to a safe shelter place.
- If you have to leave your animals behind, make sure they’re in a secure and sheltered place either inside or outside your home.
- If you have livestock or horses in paddocks near waterways that have the potential to flood (streams, rivers etc.), move them to higher ground. Make sure your stock have access to clean feed and water in their new contained space until they can be returned to their paddocks.
- If you need more detailed guidance, check the animals affected by emergencies factsheets on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.
Image credit: Markus Spiske