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Unison says be prepared for Cyclone Gita

Unison Networks is advising customers to make the most of the fine weather this weekend and ensure they are prepared for potential power cuts next week as remnants of Tropical Cyclone Gita head towards the North Island.

A severe weather outlook is in place for the North Island with Cyclone Gita expected to hit New Zealand from the northwest either Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said, “Although there remains uncertainty with regards to the speed and track of Cyclone Gita, it’s forecast to be destructive, so our advice is to be prepared.”

Unison will have extra crews on stand-by in preparation but is also urging customers to check their household emergency power kits this weekend to ensure they are prepared.

“As part of your household emergency kit, make sure you have a battery-operated radio and torch, a full gas bottle for cooking on your BBQ, and if you rely on electricity for heating, we also recommend a portable gas heater,” says Mr Gough. 

Mr Gough said outdoor objects such furniture, trampolines and other loose items should be securely fixed to the ground.

He said people should call Unison on 0800 2 UNISON (0800 286 476) for emergencies such as trees in power lines or lines down.

Customers wanting information about power cuts can go to www.unison.co.nz/outages or contact their electricity retailer in Taupo and Rotorua; and Unison in Hawke’s Bay.

Should the power go out, Unison advises the following safety precautions:

• If you are medically dependent, in the event of a power outage, activate your back-up plan, or call 111 if you are feeling unwell or have no alternative support plans in place.  Please ensure you have registered yourself as medically dependant with your electricity retailer - their contact number can be found on your power bill.

• Turn off the power at the main switch if you suspect any electrical damage in your home. If the power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances to prevent possible damage by a power surge when the electricity supply is restored.

• Remember that if the electricity network is damaged, it may take a number of hours to be reconnected, so make sure you have your household emergency kit ready. Learn more about safety around fallen power lines, and being prepared for no power:  http://www.unison.co.nz/tell-me-about/safety/safety-around-fallen-power-lines.

• Read about how to prepare for a storm at www.getthru.gov.nz

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