Civil Defence is warning people to prepare for the possibility of power cuts, water outages and road closures caused by Cyclone Gita which is expected to make landfall in New Zealand on Tuesday.
The cyclone is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds when it hits the country.
MetService is predicting its probable track is across central New Zealand or the top of the South Island on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"Cyclone Gita has the potential to pack a punch and cause a lot of disruption. Now is the perfect time to plan ahead," said the ministry's director, Sarah Stuart-Black.
"This means preparing for the possibility of power cuts, water outages and road closures that could leave you or your loved ones stranded," she said this afternoon.
"It's also a good idea to have a grab bag ready in case you need to evacuate. If you don't have a household emergency plan, now's the time to sit down with your family or flatmates and get it done."
Ms Stuart-Black advises people to try and run any important errands before the weather hits so you won’t need to do any non-essential travel in treacherous conditions, and make sure you secure outdoor furniture well in advance.
She says the ministry will be monitoring the situation and is ready to coordinate assistance if it is needed.
• Secure, or move inside, anything that could cause damage in strong winds.
• Close windows and doors, close curtains to prevent injury from breaking windows.
• Stay inside and bring your pets inside. If you have to leave, take them with you.
• Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services.
• Avoid non-essential travel during severe weather, and never drive through floodwaters.
For more information on how to prepare for Cyclone Gita visit here.
You can find the latest weather forecast here.