Cyclone Dineo is surely making her presence felt in Botswana as we have been experiencing heavy rains for the past few days. A lot of people and infrastructure have been affected, henceforth safety precautions are needed to avoid more trouble. The National Disaster Management Office has shared some valuable tips on how we can stay safe during such times.
• Be alert to signs of flooding, and if you stay in a flood prone area be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
• Listen to early warning updates of expected rainfall or weather bulletins.
• Cooperate with members of the Police, District Disaster Management Committees and Government Authorities when you have to be evacuated to safer ground.
• Take care when walking through shallow water, manhole covers may have come off and there may be other under water hazards.
• Ensure your house is constructed well above the water level to avoid inundation.
• Keep a list of useful numbers at hand, your council, emergency services, and insurance company.
• Make up a flood kit, including a torch, blankets, waterproof clothing, water boots, a portable radio, first aid kit, rubber gloves and important personal documents.
• Do not drink flood water, it may be polluted it should be treated or boiled first.
• Do not allow children to play in or near flood water.
• Be cautious around riverbanks and river bridges they may collapse in extreme situations.
• Be aware of dangerous objects after flood water has receded such as broken objects and live electric wires.
• Never try to swim through fast flowing water you may get swept away or stuck by an object in the water.
• Driving through flood water can also be dangerous.
• Be aware of areas where the flood water has receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
• Use extreme caution when entering buildings, there may be hidden damage especially in foundations.
• Stay away from downed power line and report them to the power company.