Preparation is vital for getting through winter

13/06/2014 12:00 a.m.

With winter well and truly underway, now is time to get ready for whatever the chilly season throws at us.

Flooding, high winds and power outages seen in Canterbury recently were a reminder that having a well-equipped, household emergency kit is essential.

Don Geddes, Emergency Management Officer says good preparation is vital for managing the challenges winter weather events bring and with several winter months ahead of us yet, it is important that people get organised now. 

"If you don't have a household emergency kit, we advise that you organise one soon to avoid getting caught short. In the event of significant road closures, snow and power cuts, you need to have enough basic necessities to be self-sufficient for three days or more.  This includes having stocks of food, water, warm clothing, fuel, alternative cooking and lighting and other emergency supplies on hand," says Mr Geddes.

"Past weather events in Ashburton district have shown us that people are very good about helping each other out so in the case of an emergency, watch out for others and do what you can to assist. Keep an eye on weather warnings and whether you live in town or on a rural property, don't take unnecessary risks," he says.

"Even in small quantities, snow can be hazardous. It only takes a few centimetres on a road to make driving dangerous."

Motorists considering driving over mountain passes in winter are advised to take chains with them in case of snow and to check road conditions and the weather forecast before setting out.

"As well as carrying chains for your vehicle, it's also a good idea to have another emergency kit in the car with a warm blanket, water and first aid kit the necessities," adds Mr Geddes.

During a power cut Council recommends using torches rather than candles, but if there is no other option make sure they are in stable, non-combustible holders and away from anything that could burn.

"For general readiness, every household should ideally have a Household Emergency Plan too, including knowing what they are going to do for pets and animals," says Mr Geddes.

For tips on what you should have in an emergency kit, see or

Weather conditions and warnings can be found at


Page reviewed: 02 Mar 2016 3:32pm