10 ways to get ready for a cyclone
How prepared are you?
If Auckland’s recent floods and the threat of Cyclone Gabrielle hitting the country in coming days have you thinking about getting more prepared, we’ve put together these 10 practical steps to take now.
1. Stock up on essential supplies you’d need if you couldn’t go out after a storm, using the list we’ve put together. Buying everything in our kit would cost $250-$300 for two people or about $450 for a family of four. If the budget can’t take that hit, you could start ticking off a couple of things each time you do a grocery shop.
2. Think about your household’s specific needs as you go about your day – would you have hearing aid batteries, contact lenses and fluid, sanitary items, medicine and medical equipment, and nappies and formula for a baby?
3. Prepare a grab bag that has the essentials you’d need for at least three days away from home if you were evacuated. We reckon making your own grab bag is the way to go and would cost about $160. We’ve also compared pre-made bags you can buy off the shelf and detailed what we think you’d need to add to them.
4. Check your insurance policies. Not just your home and contents, but also your car. Make sure you have enough insurance cover to rebuild your home and replace what’s inside it. Check what your policy doesn’t cover and how much cover you have if you need temporary accommodation.
5. Think about your tech and how you’d use it in an extreme weather event. Make sure there’s a charger in your grab bag and a power bank is a good idea too. Your car can also be used to charge devices if you buy a charger for it or it has a charging pad. If you’d want your kids to be able to watch videos, you could download some now just in case you don’t have WiFi or data if you evacuate. A password manager will remember your passwords if you’re still writing them down! You could also familiarise yourself with ways to conserve power on your phone when you need to, such as putting it in battery-saver mode, adjusting the brightness and not using apps that drain power faster.
6. Make a list of potential projectiles. When a storm is on the way you’ll need to bring inside or secure anything that could be sent flying. Sometimes we don’t get much warning that bad weather is about to hit, so make a list now of what would need to be done in a hurry, such as turning over the trampoline, picking up branches and bringing in pot plants and outdoor furniture.
7. Document your belongings. Take a walk around your house and take photos of furniture and appliances, including model names and numbers, to help when you need to make an insurance claim.
8. Learn how to turn off your water, electricity and gas if you’re advised to. An emergency isn’t the time to be googling!
9. Move valuable items to a high place in your house. Keep important documents in watertight containers. Think about putting chemicals, such as those used around the garden, up high too.
10. Make a pet plan. There’s a lot to consider if you’d need to take your pet with you in case of evacuation or even just staying inside. You’d need something to transport them, their food and medicine and ways to clean up their pee and poop. A tag for cats and dogs with your phone number on it could help reunite you if they go missing and make sure you have a good photo of them.