Severe Weather

Do you know what to do in the event of severe weather? Find out what you need to know, how to prepare, what to do when it happens and also what to do after the event.

Major storms affect wide areas and can be accompanied by strong winds, heavy rain or snowfall, thunder, lightning, tornadoes, and rough seas. They can cause damage to property and infrastructure, affect crops and livestock, disrupt essential services, and cause coastal inundation.

Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are issued by MetService and available through the broadcast media, by email alerts and on the MetService website. MetService is New Zealand's national weather authority. They provide comprehensive weather information services, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help protect the safety and well-being of New Zealanders and the NZ economy.

Pro Tip!

Weather systems can quickly change in course and intensity and therefore it is important to stay informed.

Want to find out what Severe Weather Warnings are in effect for New Zealand?  Take a look at MetService weather warnings page.


 Stay Safe

  • Develop a Household Emergency Plan and make sure you have a getaway kit
  • Prepare your property for high winds.
  • Secure large heavy objects or remove any item which can become a deadly or damaging missile.
  • Get your roof checked regularly to make sure it is secure.
  • List items that may need to be secured or moved indoors when strong winds are forecast.
  • Keep materials at hand for repairing windows, such as tarpaulins, boards and duct tape.
  • If you are renovating or building, make sure all work complies with the New Zealand Building Code which has specific standards to minimise storm damage.
Pro Tip!

Before bad weather arrives - Be prepared.

As weather systems can rapidly change it is important to stay updated about what is happening in your area and take simple steps to protect your family and the things you care about.

Staying Safe During Severe Weather

  • Secure, or move indoors, all items that could get blown about and cause harm in strong winds.
  • Surface flooding, restricted visibility and slips are possible during severe weather. Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.
  • Power cuts are possible in severe weather. Unplug small appliances which may be affected by electrical power surges. If power is lost, unplug major appliances to reduce the power surge and possible damage when power is restored. Find out what to do in a power outage here.
  • Bring pets inside. Move stock to shelter. If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you.
  • Close windows, external and internal doors. Pull curtains and drapes over unprotected glass areas to prevent injury from shattered or flying glass.
  • Listen to your local radio stations as emergency management officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
  • Check for injuries and help others if you can, especially people who require special assistance.
  • Look for and report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.
  • Contact your local council if your house or building has been severely damaged.
  • If your property or contents are damaged take notes and photographs and contact your insurance company. Inform your landlord if there is damage to the rental property.
  • Ask your council for advice on how to clean up debris safely.
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