Head's up for Cyclone Hola 09 March 2018 Cyclone Hola is heading towards New Zealand from the tropics and there is the potential for some severe weather on the Coromandel from Monday afternoon to Tuesday evening - strong winds and heavy rain - which could cause flooding in low-lying areas, slips and downed trees and power lines. (Image: Civil Defence's story map, click image for further details.) High tides for the period are relatively low, especially compared to the king tides of early January. Civil Defence is actively monitoring the storm system but at this stage there is considerable uncertainty as to what exact track it will take. There is no need to panic, but this weekend is a good opportunity to review your emergency preparedness plans. Think about what you may need if you lose power and you are physically isolated by slips for more than a day. Do you have: Torches and fresh batteries Ample drinking water and emergency food supplies An alternative means of cooking source if power is cut If your property is in a low-lying area, check if you need to move items to higher ground. Put away loose items and tie down trampolines or anything else that could be blown around in strong winds. 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. Also follow Waikato Civil Defence on Facebook here and check out their website for updates here. 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.