The Taupo District's Emergency Operations Centre has been activated to prepare for the arrival of ex-tropical Cyclone Cook.

MetService is warning the cyclone is expected to bring heavy rain and gale force winds to parts of the North Island including the Taupo District.

The worst of the weather is expected to hit later today.

Controller Tina Jakes said the activation of the emergency centre meant authorities were monitoring the event and poised to respond. She warned residents to take the event seriously and not take any chances.

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"We need residents to be ready and prepared for a major storm, and that means having food and water supplies for at least three days along with other essentials," she said.

"It also may mean delaying travel plans with hazardous driving conditions expected over the next two days. Be ready to act, look after yourselves and stay safe."

If travel was an absolute necessity she advised keeping up to date with latest road and weather conditions, allowing extra time for journeys, and being prepared for possible detours, closures and debris on the roads.

"It's also important to prepare your property for high winds," Ms Jakes said.

"Secure anything that could get blown about and move outdoor furniture indoors."‚Äč