Getting ready for winter

11 May 2018

With rain and cooler temperatures forecast for much of Canterbury this weekend, it is timely for residents to think ahead and plan for all that the winter season can bring.

In previous years, the region has seen flooding, snow, wind storms and power outages. Before the worst of the weather strikes, now is the time to review your household emergency plans and learn more about storms, floods and landslides.

Regional Civil Defence Group Controller Neville Reilly said he understands people in Canterbury are relatively experienced in weather-related events, having been through their fair share over the past few years.

“However, nature can be unpredictable, and communities should do their best to help reduce the impact of winter weather by understanding the risks and getting their households ready,” he said.

“Make a plan with your family, flatmates or friends to get through an emergency. Think about the things you need every day and work out what you would do if you didn’t have them.”

Snow can have a significant impact in Canterbury over winter, Reilly said. “It only takes a few centimetres on a road to make driving dangerous. In large quantities, snow can disrupt transport, communications and supply lines, hampering the work of emergency services and increasing the risks to the vulnerable members of the community.”

Reilly said people who plan to travel over mountain passes, where snow can be a common occurrence during the winter months, should remember to take chains with them.

“As well as carrying chains in your vehicle, it is good practice to check road conditions and the weather forecast before setting out. It is also a good idea to carry an emergency kit in the car that includes a warm blanket, water and a first aid kit.”

Useful resources
• Make your plan at happens.nz 
• View up-to-date weather watches and warnings on the MetService website 
• For road conditions and closures, check the NZ Transport Agency website 
• Follow CDEM Canterbury on Facebook 
• Contact your local council for further Civil Defence information about your local area

For more information contact Environment Canterbury Media, on behalf of CDEM Canterbury: media@ecan.govt.nz or 027 221 5259.

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