While the monsoon is already upon us, it’s not too late to make sure your home is safe from the damage of cyclonic winds and lashing rain.
Moderate to severe cyclonic weather as a regular occurrence is to be expected as part of global warming according to the IMD. After Cyclone Tauktae tore into many homes this May, it’s wise to get the home and house secure so that you’re safe at home during a cyclone and not a part of the raging storm.
Strong winds generated during severe cyclones turn airborne debris into potential lethal missiles and cause extensive damage to property.
Here are a few tips to be aware of and ensure you stay safe in such weather conditions:
Gardens and Ground floor flats
Secure all loose objects. Wrap up plants or move them to a more secure location. Make sure trees are trimmed but not massacred. Very heavy rain and winds can destroy all your plants if they are left exposed.
Check your awning (chajya) for gaps or cracks
It’s never too late to get a quick water-proofing job to make sure water doesn’t seep through the windows.
Check for broken window panes and doors
Check for broken doors and windows. Latch all windows firmly and secure the doors with barrel bolts. In case the door facing the wind breaks open, a lot of pressure enters the house, putting the roof under considerable strain which may even result in collapses in case of a high-intensity cyclone. Trim any tree branches precariously close to your windows.
Wind-driven water leakage can damage your home flooring, walls and ceilings, requiring complete refurbishment and hefty investment later. Hence, sealing the cracks, vents and gaps with waterproof materials is the best way to keep the water permeation problem at bay.
Apart from water leakages, also check for gas leaks in the kitchen. In case of any spillage, please turn off the gas valve and get it fixed after the cyclone subsides.
Clear the balconies and terraces
Clear the terraces and balconies of all the hanging materials such as flower pots, décor items and cardboard boxes, or any other discarded items. Moreover, tightly secure the large items such as water tanks, grills, and weather sheds as they would be the last thing you wish to see moving around during the storm.
Park vehicles in secure areas
Avoid parking vehicles in stilt or open spaces to dodge damage via trees and overhanging branches.
Fix the garage doors tightly to avoid accidental damage.
Check the roofs and walls of the garage as well. In case of any crack or vent, seal it immediately to prevent air and water pilferage.
Cyclonic winds are strong enough to damage porch attachments, carports and screen enclosures, particularly if they are old and damaged.
- Charge your mobile phones beforehand and keep the power banks ready as power cuts are standard precautionary measures that governments take during the cyclone.
- Store sufficient drinking water, food and other grocery items
- Keep the first aid kit handy for any emergency
- Keep a large torch / mini battery –operated light by your side in case you need it during a power outage
- Call a friend if you feel alone or afraid during the storm. Or better still, say some affirmations and prayers to keep your energies positive.
- Make sure small children and pets are safe and not in harm’s way.
- Don’t go roaming around the house in the dark, you could slip or trip and have a nasty fall. Stay put in a safe place.
Try not to be alone as far as possible. Call a friend or family member to stay with you. If you can’t help it then make sure you are totally equipped for any emergency that may arise during the cyclone. It can be a nerve-wracking experience so try to stay calm above all else.
If you have any more tips you can help our seniors with for safety during a storm/ cyclone, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org