Living in New Zealand we’re used to all sorts of weather, from beautiful sunny days through to tropical strength wind gusts, torrential rain, hail, snow and ice. When it comes to weather here in the Land of the Long White Cloud, it’s not a bad idea to expect the unexpected!
Given the often unpredictable climate, it’s worth keeping up your home maintenance to minimise weather effects and to know what to do if the heavy rain and wind we often experience is on the horizon. When you do get enough heavy weather warning, it also pays to double check your home is secured.
Tip: Download the official Red Cross Hazard App to get warnings and alerts on when bad weather is on the way.
We’ve put together some tips to help you prepare your home for the severe rainy and windy conditions we sometimes experience:
- Make sure gutters and drains are clear of leaves and muck
- Regularly check your roof for any obvious signs of damage, particularly tiles and flashings
- Remember ladder safety when carrying out checks
- Cut down any loose tree branches.
- Make sure fences are in good condition – remove or fix any loose boards.
- Ensure heavy items in your backyard are secure and won’t blow around. We’re looking at you, trampolines, outdoor furniture and barbeques!
- Close all your windows and doors.
- If you lose power, unplug large appliances to reduce the chance of power surges when the power is restored.
- Write down a few emergency contacts, including plumbers and electricians. Don’t rely on the internet being up and running when you need it!
- Try to limit your mobile phone usage so you’re not out of charge while you’re waiting for power to come back on.
- Make sure you have an emergency kit and that it is correctly stocked.
Once the bad weather has passed, make sure everyone is safe and 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. Don’t start non-essential repairs without your insurance company’s approval.
For more information, visit GetThru website and read their handy guide on what to do before, during or after a storm. We’ve also summarised the main points here.