The Insurance Council of New Zealand warns West Coasters to check their property now for the wild weather starting to hit the West Coast.

“There are some simple things you can do that don’t cost anything that will help make sure you and your property stay safe” says Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton.

MetService have issued a rare red warning for parts of the South Island and have advised that heavy rainfall could bring significant flooding with the risk of slips from central Westland to Buller.

“High winds cause trees to come down on roads, fences, cars and houses which creates havoc.  Our infrastructure in many towns and rural areas are unable to cope with the weather we are facing this century, which causes widespread flooding and damage” he said.

“Many West Coasters are either living near rivers or the sea and are used to dealing with heavy rainfall and know what to do.  Farmers should secure irrigators and machinery as well as light structures and move property and stock to higher ground” he said.

Preparation tips:

  • secure large items such as umbrellas and outdoor furniture, turn trampolines upside down, and pack away smaller items that may become airborne
  • move your car out of flood danger, and avoid driving if you can
  • move valuables and electrical items to higher ground
  • check gutters and drains are clear of debris
  • stock your emergency kit, be prepared for power outages
  • stay safe and don’t do anything putting yourself at risk, check on neighbours and friends

If you suffer damage, contact your insurance provider, take photos and make essential emergency repairs if you can do that safely.

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