Precautionary plans are in place in case sea swells generated by Cyclone Cook threaten beachfront homes.

"At this stage we do not believe the swells will cause damage but we have plans prepared in case the forecasted level increases and we need to evacuate beachfront residents," said Hastings Emergency Management local controller Mike Maguire.

High tide is at 7.30pm. The areas being watched are from Waimarama through to Haumoana.

There is no warning in place for beaches to the northern end of the district, as the geography and wind direction mean they are unlikely to be affected.

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"However, the sea and weather are unpredictable and people living on the beachfront should keep an eye on conditions and be prepared to self-evacuate if they feel unsafe. Don't wait for council, get out if you are concerned," said Mr Maguire.

Council is also warning that residents should be aware that gale force winds are forecast for late this afternoon.

"We need people to exercise common sense - stay away from parks and reserves where there are large trees, be aware of flying debris and limit travel to the absolutely necessary.

"What we want is for everyone to be safe."

Residents thinking of travelling out of the region today are urged to check national weather and news sites to judge whether they should go ahead with their plans.