As Odisha and Andhra Pradesh gear up for the arrival of Cyclone Phailin, here’s a brief summary of what you should and should not do during a cyclone.
Don’t live in the cyclone affected zone? Here’s what you can do.
Pass the message out to your friends and relatives
(i) Before the Cyclone:
- Check the house; secure loose tiles, carry out repair works for doors and windows
- Remove dead woods or dying trees close to the house; anchor removable objects like lumber piles, loose tin sheds, loose bricks, garbage cans, sign-boards etc. which can fly in strong winds
- Keep some wooden boards ready so that glass windows can be boarded if needed
- Keep a hurricane lantern filled with kerosene, battery operated torches and enough dry cells
- Keep some extra batteries for transistors
- Keep some dry non-perishable food always ready for emergency use
(ii) When the Cyclone starts
- Listen to the radio (All India Radio stations give weather warnings).
- Keep monitoring the warnings. This will help you to prepare for a cyclone emergency.
- Pass on the information to others.
- Ignore rumours and do not spread them; this will help to avoid panic situations.
- Believe in the official information
- When a cyclone alert is on for your area continue normal working but stay alert to the radio warnings.
- Remember that a cyclone alert means that the danger is within 24 hours. Stay alert.
- When your area is under cyclone warning get away from low-lying beaches or other low-lying areas close to the coast
- Leave early before your way to high ground or shelter gets flooded
- Do not delay and run the risk of being marooned
- If your house is securely built on high ground take shelter in the safer part of the house. However, if asked to evacuate do not hesitate to leave the place.
- Board up glass windows or put storm shutters in place.
- Provide strong suitable support for outside doors.
- If you do not have wooden boards handy, paste paper strips on glasses to prevent splinters. However, this may not avoid breaking windows.
- Get extra food, which can be eaten without cooking. Store extra drinking water in suitably covered vessels.
- If you are to evacuate the house move your valuable articles to upper floors to minimize flood damage.
- Have hurricane lantern, torches or other emergency lights in working conditions and keep them handy.
- Small and loose things, which can fly in strong winds, should be stored safely in a room.
- Be sure that a window and door can be opened only on the side opposite to the one facing the wind.
- Make provision for children and adults requiring special diets.
- If the centre of the cyclone is passing directly over your house there will be a lull in the wind and rain lasting for half and hour or so. During this time do not go out; because immediately after that very strong winds will blow from the opposite direction.
- Switch off electrical mains in your house.
- Remain calm.
(iii) When evacuation is instructed
- Pack essentials for yourself and your family to last you a few days, including medicines, special foods for babies and children or elders.
- Head for the proper shelter or evacuation points indicated for your area.
- Do not worry about your property
- At the shelter follow instructions of the person in charge.
- Remain in the shelter until you have been informed to leave
(iv) Post-cyclone measures
- You should remain in the shelter until informed that you can return to your home.
- You must get inoculated against diseases immediately.
- Strictly avoid any loose and dangling wires from the lamp posts.
- If you are to drive, drive carefully.
- Clear debris from your premises immediately.
- Report the correct loss to appropriate authorities