Major storms

Major storms can be accompanied by heavy rain, heavy snow and strong winds. Learn what to do before, during and after a major storm to minimise risk to you and your family.

For general readiness, every household should create and practice a Household Emergency Plan and assemble and maintain Emergency Survival Items and a Getaway Kit. In addition, every household should take storm specific precautions and plan for and practice what to do if a storm occurs.

Action messages

  1. Determine your risk.
  2. Get your household ready.
  3. Make an evacuation plan.
  4. Keep an ‘in case of major storms’ to-do list.

Download our hazard app to help you make it safely through a disaster.

More information on how to prepare for and what to do following a major storm:

Major storms (PDF)

More about major storms

Rises in river levels and the onset of flooding brought about by widespread heavy rain may be slow but tend to be longer-lasting.

Major storms are mostly associated with lows (depressions). While lows are common in the Tasman Sea – New Zealand –Southwest Pacific area, only the occasional one has the right characteristics to significantly affect New Zealand. It has to be the right storm in the right place at the right time.

Learn about your community’s risks from hazards created by major storms.  Visit the MetService website to find out about storms.