Monitoring the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Gita 16 February 2018 We’ll be monitoring the incoming storm through the weekend with MetService and Civil Defence and we will post an update on Monday. (Image: MetService's severe weather outlook issued yesterday and valid from Saturday 17 February to Tuesday 20 February.) Low confidence: a 20% likelihood (or 1 chance in 5) that the event will actually happen.Moderate confidence: a 40% likelihood (or 2 chances in 5) that the event will actually happen.High confidence: a 60% likelihood (or 3 chances in 5) that the event will actually happen. MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray said there was considerable uncertainty about Gita's impact on New Zealand. "It's got that much further to go before it gets here. At this stage, essentially we're just saying, yes it's coming to New Zealand, most likely looking like Tuesday, and most likely looking like it will cross the North Island or central New Zealand," says Ms Murray. "There is definitely going to be severe gales at some point around New Zealand. There will definitely be heavy rainfall as well." People should use settled weather expected for much of the country this weekend to do what they could to prepare for the stormy start to next week. "We have a relatively benign weekend weatherwise, apart from some rain on the West Coast through to tomorrow afternoon," says Ms Murray. "If you are in the top two-thirds of the country, it's a really good idea to make sure anything that could potentially in really strong winds become some sort of missile should definitely be put away. People should make sure drains and gutters are clear and trampolines are tied down." Waikato Civil Defence and the Waikato Regional Council Regional Hazards team reiterate the MetService comments and also suggest people with boats in lakes, rivers and coastal areas check their moorings over the weekend before any potential severe weather hits. "We'll keep tracking progress this weekend, but it is nothing for people to change plans for. The Coromandel is still open for business with lots of activities and events for everyone including the Brits at the Beach festival," our Civil Defence Controller, Garry Towler. Click here to see what's on in The Coromandel this weekend. The high tides for Thames on the West Coast are due: Monday 19 February - 10:37 and 22:53 Tuesday 20 February - 11:17 and 23:34 "The general advice from Civil Defence is for individuals and families to at all times be prepared for any kind of emergency - and be prepared to look after themselves for up to 3-5 days," says Mr Towler. NZ Civil Defence has prepared the Get Ready, Get Thru website with lots of information about planning for emergencies. If you get ready, then you can get through. It's also important to stay informed before, during and after emergencies. The more avenues of communication available to you, the better. Here are some we recommend: Check MetService for the latest weather forecasts as this weather system develops. Red Cross Hazards App - alerts about hazards. Download from the App Store or Google Play. Local radio - Check stations and frequencies here. Emergency Mobile Alert - these can be sent to your mobile phone, without needing to download an app or sign up. Check if your phone is capable of receiving them, here Know your neighbours - phone each other, especially vulnerable people, to check if they're OK. Waikato Regional Council has set up an online hub for rainfall and flood related information to help people more easily keep up to date with severe weather events in the region. It can be found at waikatoregion.govt.nz/flood-room We will post regular updates on our Council's Facebook page as well as on our website and email newsletters. We'll also include updates on known local Council road closures. If you see a Council road that is impassable due to flooding or a debris, call us on 07 868 0200. If the issue is with a State Highway (eg, the Thames Coast Road, Kopu-Hikuai Road) please tell NZ Transport Agency on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can also provide traffic and travel information. Check NZTA's website before you travel for the latest information about road closures or work underway. You can also use their journey-planning website www.onthemove.govt.nz to plan the best route for your journey, taking into account known issues and traffic on state highways. To report a power outage, contact Powerco or your provider. For more on these channels, and other information about staying informed in emergencies, go to the Civil Defence "Never Happens" website. We're also still facing water restrictions. See what restrictions apply here: www.tcdc.govt.nz/water.