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Westcoasters: act now on Red weather warning

16 Aug 2022

Those living on the West Coast of Te Waipounamu, in the Buller District and Upper South Island (Tasman Ranges), should act now and follow the advice of local civil defence authorities as Metservice’s local extreme weather warnings have been upgraded from Orange to Red.

“Yet again Westcoasters, those in the Grey and Buller districts and Upper South Island likely face major disruption with a typical month’s rain expected to fall to Thursday evening. This brings with it an attendant risk of flooding,” says Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) Chief Executive Tim Grafton. “People should put their safety first, heed the advice of local civil defence and contact their insurer early if affected.”

Regional and local councils are working hard to prepare, minimise the impacts and to be ready for the recovery phase. In addition to following their advice, there are some simple things you can do that will help reduce loss and damage and so speed recovery:
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 in line with local advice
  • Check gutters and drains are clear of debris
  • In case of high winds, secure large items such as barbeques, umbrellas and outdoor furniture, turn trampolines upside down, and pack away smaller items
  • Check your emergency kit, check in with you neighbours and be prepared for possible power outages

Insurers want to get things fixed as soon as possible and always try to prioritise those most badly affected, such as those whose homes are red or yellow stickered. Getting your claim lodged early is the best way to speed things along.

“Contact your insurer early if you suffer flood or storm damage, especially if you need to make emergency repairs, which should only be undertaken if they can be done safely, added Tim. “It’s also important to take photos of any damage or items that have been ruined.”

“No matter the outcome, that the West Coast is once again under a Red Warning is very difficult for all involved. The Buller District, and Westport in particular, have had a particularly hard run since last July’s major flooding and our thoughts are with them,” said Tim.  

ENDS – KA MUTU

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