Preparing to self-evacuate and what to take for Cyclone Gabrielle

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People living in at-risk areas are being urged to prepare to self-evacuate today and avoid getting caught in the worst of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council is encouraging everyone in low lying coastal and harbourside environments to prepare to leave their homes now, and to make the call to go before dark tonight.

Floods and flash floods can happen quickly. If you see rising water and your property is at risk of flooding, do not wait for official warnings. We recommend heading over to whānau or friend’s places on higher ground and staying away from floodwater.

Keep monitoring our website for updates www.westernbay.govt.nz/cyclone-gabrielle

In preparation for the incoming weather Council has activated its Emergency Operations Centre and is working closely with community groups to prepare emergency evacuation centres. Details of these centres will be promoted once confirmed.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council Civil Defence Controller, Peter Watson says Council’s team are keeping a close eye on the approaching weather and ready to respond to whatever our community’s needs are.

“With the latest forecast showing very high winds, heavy rain, and storm surges for later today and potentially overnight, now is the time to make your preparations and get ready to self-evacuate.

“You probably have most of the things you need already. Now is the time to put them in a bag so you’re not caught short or missing something important.

“Don’t forget that you and your neighbours can help each other by sharing supplies too. At times like these we’ve got to pull together to get through.”

What to take when you self-evacuate

Everyone in your whānau will need a grab bag, and your pets too. Bags should include things like

  • Batteries
  • Snacks, water and dietary requirement foods
  • Phone, charger and power pack
  • Torch
  • Radio
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Whistle
  • Note pad and pen
  • House keys
  • Toiletries, tissues and hand sanitiser
  • First aid kit, medication, masks
  • Cash
  • Important documents and personal identification
  • Pet food, poo bags, medication, collar, leash, water bowl

If you live outside a flooding zone you still need to be prepared. It’s likely that we’ll experience a power outage, so we recommend that you prepare by

  • Stocking up on torches and batteries
  • Ensuring cell phone batteries are charged and BBQ gas bottles filled
  • Water for three days or more — make sure you have at least nine litres of water for every person, and more for pets. This will be enough for drinking and basic hygiene
  • Long-lasting food that doesn’t need cooking (unless you have a camping stove or gas barbecue) and food for babies and pets
  • Toilet paper and large plastic buckets for an emergency toilet

By looking after yourself and your household, you’ll also be helping emergency services focus their limited resources on the people who need the most help. If you do need help, here’s a list of who to call when

Call 111 when life or personal safety is threatened. That includes when there is a fire, when people are trapped by floodwater, slips or fallen trees and when people need help to evacuate safely.

Call Council on 0800 926 732 to report issues with our roads, reserves, water pipes, etc.

Call Waka Kotahi on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to report any highway incidents.

Keep up to date with weather warnings metservice.co.nz or listen to your local radio – your car radio may be helpful if you lose power.

For updates on Council services, visit www.westernbay.govt.nz/cyclone-gabrielle

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