People with quake-damaged homes are being urged to look after themselves ahead of their properties as severe weather sweeps the country.

MetService has issued a warning that winds in some areas could be powerful enough to lift roofs, bring down powerlines, damage trees and make driving difficult as strong winds and heavy rain will continue to batter the country this week.

AA Insurance head of claims Simon Hobbs said people should prioritise the safety of themselves and their families before attempting to inspect or repair any damage to their homes.

"If it is safe for you to do so, then check your property and repair anything that may be damaged, or could cause damage to another part of your, or your neighbours', property.

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"Secure or store away items such as outdoor furniture or garden equipment that could be blown about in the storm."

Hobbs said if people's homes are storm damaged on top of damage from Monday's earthquake, they will still be covered by insurance.

"Once people have time to assess the damage they'll start contacting EQC or their insurer, to help with the damage, or make emergency plans.

"However, as aftershocks are still happening, and bad weather is hitting the country, it's too soon to know the extent of the claims. At this stage it's more important for people to focus on their own safety and to contact us if they need our help."

Residents are evacuated from the Hutt Valley as the Waiwhetu Stream bursts its banks. Photo / Martin Xie
Residents are evacuated from the Hutt Valley as the Waiwhetu Stream bursts its banks. Photo / Martin Xie

AA Insurance tips to securing your property

·If there is water in your light fittings, turn your lights off and call an electrician immediately

·Place a tarpaulin over any areas where the roof is leaking.

·Pull curtains and drapes over windows to protect yourself from shattered or flying glass

·Unplug appliances which may be affected by electrical power surges.

·Pack fragile items away until the aftershocks subside

·Secure or move outdoor furniture inside, or any debris that could go flying during a storm or high winds

·Take photos of any damaged items, to confirm with EQC or your insurer what needs replacing.