Sandbags for our vulnerable communities 26 January 2018 We have distributed sandbags to our coastal communities around the district. "We have identified vulnerable areas to be properties close to the coastline and particularly those who were recently affected by the January king tide weather event," says our Civil Defence Controller, Garry Towler. "We have a limited number of sandbags and are asking only the most at-risk property owners and residents to collect them and please take only the number you require to ensure that they are available to all those in need," says Mr Towler. The sandbags will need to be filled with either sand or dirt and the key recommendation to ensure effectiveness of sandbags is to lay plastic/polythene against the building to be protected before packing the sandbags. Information will be available at the locations below on how to fill and place the sandbags, or you can download a copy on the top right-hand side of this page or click here. Thames, Whangamata, Coromandel and Mercury Bay residents please give us a call on 07 868 0200 or visit one of our Council offices to arrange collecting sandbags in advance. For other areas, sandbags will be available from the following locations: West Coast Tapu Store Te Puru Hall Tararu Store Waikawau Trams Colville Fire Station Papa Aroha campground (for use within camp) East Coast Kuaotunu Fire Station Cooks Beach Fire Station Whangapoua Fire Station Matarangi Fire Station Hahei Fire Station "We just want to make sure that if, by chance, a weather event does occur, you, your family and mates are sorted and can get by, and get through, until we can get to you. While you're getting ready for the long weekends just take a few minutes, and give some thought, about packing a few extras to leave in the boot if you are visiting or stash in the closet if you're at the beach house or bach," says Mr Towler."Things like warm clothing, a torch, radio, batteries, some water and dried or packaged food, a first aid kit and essential medicines. What about the rest of your family or mates, make sure they can look after themselves as well, for at least 3 days if necessary." Stay up to date on the weather and road conditions: Weather updates: MetService. State Highways (SH25, SH25A, SH26 in the Coromandel): NZTA NZTA. You can also call NZTA on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) for traffic and travel information. 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. Council roads: We will post regular updates on our Council's Facebook page as well as on our website and email newsletters. If you see an issue that needs attention, call us on 07 868 0200. Local radio - Check stations and frequencies here. Red Cross Hazards App - alerts about hazards. Download from the App Store or Google Play. 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 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 here. Also follow Waikato Civil Defence on Facebook here and check out their website for updates here. Know your neighbours - phone each other in an emergency, especially vulnerable people, to check if they're OK. 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.