Simple precautions and planning can help face natural disasters

Sai Bedekar
Auckland, February 12, 2023

A wide range of natural disasters occurs throughout the world every year.

These disasters can have a detrimental effect on our health, life and property.

Floods can be a dangerous and life-threatening event; so, it is important to take safety precautions to minimise the risk of harm.

Here are some key safety tips to consider during a flood:

Do your research: Familiarise yourself with the risks that could occur in your community and neighbourhood.

Prepare your home: Coordinate with your family on your protocol during an emergency. Keep important emergency numbers within easy access.

Pack an Emergency Kit: This should all contain food, first-aid, medication, water and other essential supplies for a minimum of 72 hours in case you need to evacuate.

Sai Bedekar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evacuate: If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not wait for flood waters to rise

Protect your property: If you are unable to evacuate, take steps to protect your property, such as moving valuables to higher ground and turning off the electricity and gas if instructed to do so. Do not enter any building in a flooded area unless it is verified to be safe by the local authorities.

Stay away from flood waters: Avoid contact with floodwaters as they can be contaminated with chemicals, sewage, debris and other dangerous substances

Avoid Driving: Do not attempt to drive, jet ski or kayak through floodwaters as you could be swept away in just a few inches of water.

Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning

Electrical Safety: Keep electrical appliances and outlets away from water to prevent electrocution and avoid downed power lines. Floodwaters can knock down power lines and hence it is important to avoid standing water near electrical equipment and report any downed power lines to the authorities.

Wear protective clothing: If you need to be in or near floodwaters, wear protective clothing, such as rubber boots and gloves, to minimize your risk of injury.

Store important documents in a safe place: Keep your important documents and valuables in a locker or store them in a safe and secure place where they will not be damaged by floodwaters.

Stay informed: Read your community’s emergency safety alerts and instructions shared during an emergency carefully. Call your local board or council if you have any concerns.

Follow the instructions of local authorities: Stay tuned to local news and follow the instructions of local authorities to stay safe during a flood

Look out for others: Check on your neighbours, especially those who are elderly, disabled, or have young children, and offer assistance if needed

Make a Plan

Remember that your safety is the most important thing during a flood.

During a flood, it is important to have an emergency plan to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones. So, make a plan today. It is possible that family members may become separated and unable to locate one another immediately.

It is important to have a plan in place in case this happens. This plan should include a designated meeting place, a way to communicate if phone lines are down, and important information such as full names of your family members, home address and contact phone number.

It is a good idea to make sure that each member of the family has a copy of this information with them at all times either in their wallet or on their mobile phone. Put an emergency plan together by discussing the questions below with your family and friends.

Establish a designated meeting place: Choose a location where everyone can go if you get separated. It could be a friend’s house, a park, or a landmark that is easy to find.

Teach your children what to do: Teach your children how to call 111 and what information to give, such as their name, address, and phone number. Teach them to look for police officers or firefighters for help.

Sai Bedekar is a self-employed professional with local and international experience in Business Management and Occupational Health and Safety.  She works with several reputed organisations including General Motors, Transdev and Accident Compensation Corporation and understands regulations and legislation relating to Workplace Safety. She lives in Auckland and can be seen as a photographer at Indian Newslink events and other functions.

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