Five ways to make your home safer in a cyclone

Damage to a home in Edgecumbe after ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the town earlier in April.

Damage to a home in Edgecumbe after ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the town earlier in April.

There are concerns Kiwis aren't taking Cyclone Cook seriously, despite reports it's set to be the worst storm in decades.

Cyclone Cook, which MetService has reclassified as an extra-tropical cyclone, is expected to make landfall on Thursday evening. 

Taking precautions means everything from having an evacuation plan, storing extra food and tying down trampolines.

Jacqui Donnell and her son Joshua, 4, in front of the trampoline that was hanging from power lines of their house after ...

Jacqui Donnell and her son Joshua, 4, in front of the trampoline that was hanging from power lines of their house after a massive storm in Wellington.

Here are five ways you can make your home safer (in no particular order):

What you need to know Thursday: How Cyclone Cook will affect each region 
Rain before the storm as Cyclone Cook makes its way to NZ
Cyclone Cook: Here we go again

There are some simple steps you can take to keep your household safe during a storm. It's better to be safe than sorry.

There are some simple steps you can take to keep your household safe during a storm. It's better to be safe than sorry.

* Have a household emergency plan: Weather events can happen quickly and you need to be prepared to evacuate without assistance from authorities. Make sure you have a household emergency plan that includes taking care of your pets. Know where you will go, what you will take, and how to keep in touch with each other. Your evacuation kit should include food, water, and other essentials, plus warm clothing and important documents. 

* Store food and water: Civil Defence recommends you store enough food and water to last at least seven days. Dried or canned food is best, plus bottled water. Don't forget the can opener! If power and water supplies are cut off it's important to have a way to prepare food, such as a portable gas stove, extra water, matches or lighter. 

* Identify which indoor items to raise if flood threatens: If you're in a flood-prone area, identify which items you'll need to raise or empty if flood threatens. Poisons and gardens chemicals should be stored well above ground level. 

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* Clear your drains and gutters: Get rid of any debris from your gutters and stormwater grates, and keep the water moving. These can cause flooding issues during heavy rain. If you see any blockages on public land, report them to the council as soon as possible. 

* Secure your trampoline: After every storm there are reports of trampolines turning up in unusual places. From an aerodynamics point of view, trampolines are a "wing", ready to fly. High safety nets can add to the problem, acting as a bit of a sail. Take those down. The best thing to do in strong winds is to put the trampoline away. If that's not possible, at least rope it to a tree. It goes without saying, you should prepare your property for high winds by securing or moving indoors not just trampolines, but all items that could get blown about. 

 - Stuff


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