Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wet & windy & whoops

I got back into cellphone reception after a long weekend away and discovered that there had been a brief potential tsunami threat on Saturday morning. A magnitude 7.4 earthquake in the Kermadecs at 6:57am. Raoul Island recorded just a 10-17cm tsunami, so the alert was quickly cancelled. Apologies if you expected to find information about it here earlier, or receive an alert on your phone.

Hopefully you all enjoyed your long weekend in spite of that. It was a bit windy as I packed up my tent on Monday, and the wind has only gotten stronger since then.

The MetService has issued a Severe Weather Warning for heavy rain to fall in the Tararuas. A front is expected to move over the lower North Island late this afternoon and early evening, bringing a brief but intense burst of heavy rain to the Tararua Range, with 50-70mm of rain falling in a 6-8 hour period. I wouldn't recommend going tramping or hunting with that kind of weather in the forecast, as rivers and streams can rise rapidly.

There's also a Watch in place for northwest winds in Wellington and Wairapapa that could reach severe gale strength in exposed places until this afternoon. Winds that strong can blow things around, and you should take care while driving, especially on motorbikes or in high-sided vehicles.

So take care if you are off to the All Black parade in Wellington today - that tickertape is going to go everywhere!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Preparing for the rugby

International Disaster Reduction Day is recognised every year on the second Wednesday of October - and that's today!

Normally Emergency Management Officers and their volunteers around the country would be promoting Get Ready Week, but there's apparently some ball game happening that's distracted most of the population, and well, Canterbury is probably just a wee bit sick of disasters by now, so we're taking it easy.

I do, however, want take the time to make sure that those of you who are fanatical about the rugby are well prepared for this weekend's very important games.

There are games on both Saturday and Sunday night. You may well be too hungover to get to the shops until Monday, and some of you may even have taken a day of annual leave for recovery, so make sure you have stocked up on all the necessary supplies for watching the games at home.

You're going to want plenty of refreshments - you don't want to run out at a very important moment, and have nothing left to celebrate our victory over Australia. You're effectively going to need three days' worth of drinks to cover the whole weekend - make sure you also have something non-alcoholic, so the whole family can enjoy the party, and you'll probably want a fair bit of water to properly rehydrate after all that cheering.

Make sure you have plenty of food - something easy to prepare for dinner, that doesn't take too much effort away from your pre-match activities. A barbecue would be great if the weather cooperates. Make sure you've got a spare full gas bottle - it's so embarrassing if you run out! You'll need some snack food to sustain you, and then perhaps a few tins of baked beans for the mornings, when everything else seems like far too much effort. Don't drink and fry!

Make sure you've got enough grub for everyone, including your mates who won't be driving home after the match and are crashing on your couch for the night. Dig out your spare blankets for them.

Right, so you've got the food and drink sorted. It's Sunday night - All Blacks vs Wallabies. You're all settled in, and the haka gave you all goosebumps. And the TV goes black as power goes out across the entire city - NOOOOO! What a disaster!

But wait, you've got a transistor radio in the cupboard, along with some spare batteries, it's next to the lantern. You grab them all out, get some light going, pop the fresh batteries in the radio and tune in to 1503AM - Radio Sport for the live broadcast of our inevitable victory. Go All Blacks!

It's not an ideal situation, but at least it's not complete disaster, all thanks to a bit of preparedness.