The Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) urges West Coasters and Cantabrians to act now and follow the advice of local Civil Defence to protect themselves, homes and property following the Red Heavy Rain Warnings covering Buller and Westland and associated Orange rain warnings into Tasman, West of Motueka and Fiordland and the severe thunderstorm and high wind warnings extending into the Canterbury lakes and high country. Across the individual warnings, the severe weather is forecast to hit from the early hours of Wednesday and last well into Friday.

“There are some simple things you can do that don’t cost anything that will help reduce loss and damage,” says Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton. These include:

  • First and foremost, act on the instructions of local authorities to keep yourselves safe
  • Move valuables and electrical items out of reach of potential flood water
  • Move your car out of flood danger, and avoid driving if you can (unless told to evacuate)
  • Check gutters and drains are clear of debris
  • In case of high winds, secure large items such as umbrellas and outdoor furniture, turn trampolines upside down, and pack away smaller items that may become airborne
  • Farmers should secure irrigators and machinery as well as light structures and move property and stock to higher ground in line with local warnings
  • Check your emergency kit, check in with you neighbours and be prepared for power outages

Now is also the time for people to have insurance details to hand and to get together those items that mean most to them to keep them safe. 

“Westcoasters, especially those around Buller and Westport, know only too well the damage, disruption and heartbreak such weather can bring. While this is very stressful, I am sure they will act together to look after themselves, communities, and property though what may well turn out to be another major event. The insurance community stands ready to help them recover if need be.”

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


Contact/Tukua ki:  [email protected]

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