Prepare now for severe winds in Canterbury

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Prepare now for severe winds in Canterbury

Fire and Emergency NZ is warning people to prepare now for severe gales forecast to hit most of Canterbury this afternoon and overnight.

Mike Johns, the Assistant Area Manager for Canterbury, said the red warning that MetService has issued makes it clear that the storm will be stronger than the gales that caused fires and damage overnight on Thursday and Friday.

"We ask people to check their property now before the wind picks up. We are also contacting our brigade chiefs this morning to give them a heads up and emphasising that safety is the first priority if they are called out during these gales."

Fire and Emergency has issued advice for people in all areas covered by the MetService warnings.

· Do not light any outdoor fires – even if it is calm right now, severe gales are coming

· If you have lit an outdoor fire in the last week, check it is completely out. Many of last Friday’s fires reignited from old fire sites

· Soak discarded ashes from your home fires to make sure they are completely cold

· Farmers with irrigators and pivots should charge them and align them for a north west gale

· Bring in all loose furniture around your property

· Tie down trampolines

· Fallen trees and branches may cut power. Treat all fallen lines as live

· Avoid non-essential travel and watch for fallen debris.