Anzac Parade residents encouraged to be prepared for flood events

Whanganui District Council and Horizons Regional Council emergency management personnel will be out delivering packs to Anzac Parade residents later this week, with information on how they can be informed, prepared and ready to act in the event of a large flood.

The information packs are a result of recommendations from a strategy prepared by Massey University, alongside residents, Whanganui District Council and Horizons Regional Council to improve community resilience and build awareness in an area which has a history of flooding.

Each pack contains an information sheet on how to sign up for Horizons’ automated river alert system, a Household Emergency Plan, tips on what to do if a flood event is forecast or possible, and how to prepare for evacuation if the need arises.

Whanganui District Council emergency manager Tim Crowe will be one of the team delivering information packs this week.

“When we considered appropriate ways of providing information for households, we identified the need for information they can hold on to and refer to time and again as useful, particularly as there are a number of rental properties in the area, which usually see a turnover of tenants.

“That is why we included an in depth information sheet, along with a fridge magnet which outlines three simple steps to take,” he says.

“The intention is that if one household moves out of a property, they would leave the magnet so the next household can remain informed.”

Horizons’ early warning system has been identified as one of the key methods to ensure Anzac Parade residents are informed and prepared if a flood event is to occur. Once subscribed, residents receive phone alerts as the Whanganui River rises upstream, providing for plenty of time to get ready for an evacuation, if the river continues to rise.

“Individuals who have properties and land at risk of flooding can register with our system from across the region,” says Horizons emergency management manager Ian Lowe.

“It is a very useful system and can provide some peace of mind. We have included pre-filled forms for the alerting system in the packs to make it easy for residents to subscribe since they live in an area which has been impacted by floods many times, June 2015 being the most recent.

“That said, while the system is a good predictor of river levels downstream, it is important to emphasise that every event is different because tides, soil moisture levels and additional localised rainfall which can impact how quickly and severe flooding occurs.”

Also included in the information packs is an invitation to residents of Anzac Parade and neighbouring at-risk properties to attend a free sausage sizzle at Kowhai Park on Thursday, 23 November.

“We do encourage invited residents to come and join us, there will be free sausages, some giveaways, plus it is also an opportunity to have a chat, ask us questions and essentially learn more about the procedures we as a Civil Defence group go through when flood events occur and evacuations are required,” says Tim Crowe.

Alternatively, Whanganui District Council has set up a page on their website, with information specifically for Anzac Parade residents. This can be found at Horizons also has a page dedicated to flood risk on Anzac Parade at