Weather prompts safety re­minders

Northern Outlook - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA DANGER­FIELD

With the on­set of rain and cooler tem­per­a­tures across much of Can­ter­bury this week, it is timely for res­i­dents to think ahead and plan for all that the win­ter sea­son can bring.

In pre­vi­ous years, the re­gion has seen flood­ing, snow, wind storms and power out­ages. Be­fore the worst of the weather strikes, now is the time to re­view your house­hold emer­gency plans and learn more about storms, floods and land­slides.

Re­gional civil de­fence group con­troller Neville Reilly said Cantabri­ans were rel­a­tively ex­pe­ri­enced in weather-re­lated events, hav­ing been through their fair share over the past few years, how­ever it was al­ways a good idea to re­mind peo­ple to pre­pare in ad­vance.

‘‘Na­ture can be un­pre­dictable, and com­mu­ni­ties should do their best to help re­duce the im­pact of win­ter weather by un­der­stand­ing the risks and get­ting their house­holds ready,’’ he said.

‘‘Make a plan with your fam­ily, flat­mates or friends to get through an emer­gency. Think about the things you need ev­ery day and work out what you would do if you didn’t have them.’’

Snow can have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in Can­ter­bury over win­ter, Reilly said.

‘‘It only takes a few cen­time­tres on a road to make driv­ing dan­ger­ous. In large quan­ti­ties, snow can dis­rupt trans­port, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and sup­ply lines, ham­per­ing the work of emer­gency ser­vices and in­creas­ing the risks to the vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.’’

Reilly said peo­ple who plan to travel over moun­tain passes, where snow can be a com­mon oc­cur­rence dur­ing the win­ter months, should re­mem­ber to take chains with them.

‘‘As well as car­ry­ing chains in your ve­hi­cle, it is good prac­tice to check road con­di­tions and the weather fore­cast be­fore set­ting out. It is also a good idea to carry an emer­gency kit in the car that in­cludes a warm blan­ket, water and a first aid kit.’’

Re­mem­ber to take care around the district’s fords es­pe­cially af­ter heavy or pro­longed pe­ri­ods of rain. Don’t walk or drive through fast mov­ing water, turn around and use an al­ter­na­tive route. Keep up to date with all road and ford clo­sures and up­dates on the Waimakariri District Coun­cil Face­book page and web­site.

ALI­CIA PEEBLES

Snow hit higher parts of the Waimakariri district last month, and more win­try weather is on the way, prompt­ing re­minders to be pre­pared.

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