Two cyclones have hit Mozambique within just a four week period. Just last week, cyclone Kenneth hit the northern part of the country leaving a death toll of 38 and leaving thousands homeless. It is paramount that we have basic knowledge of disaster preparedness.

Destruction in Mozambique

Here’s what to do in the event that a cyclone threatens to hit your area, and if it is safe enough to shelter at home:

Before the storm:

  • Check your insurances (home and car) are up to date so you’re properly covered.
  • Clear your gutters, pipes and storm drains.
  • Trim trees and branches near your home.
  • Secure any loose objects outside your home, like garden furniture, bins or children’s toys.
  • Get your roof checked for damage or corrosion.
  • Make sure all doors, windows/shutters/blinds/curtains are closed. In serious storms or cyclones, tape any windows not protected by shutters in a criss-cross pattern.
  • Make electronic copies of any important documents, like marriage/birth certificates and passports, and save them to a memory device or a secure online location.
  • Unplug non-essential electrical items and use surge protectors.
  • Prepare an emergency storm kit containing things like a first aid kit, a torch, batteries, candles, matches, bottled water and an emergency contact list.
  • Park your car somewhere safe, away from trees.

During a storm or cyclone

  • If you’re able to stay in your home, make sure you know where its strongest point is, and shelter under a mattress, strong table or bench if necessary. Stay there and keep your emergency kit close by.
  • Stay off the roads and never drive through flood water.
  • Follow news reports for updates on the storm and instructions from the authorities.

After a storm or cyclone has hit

  • Don’t venture outside to check damage until it’s completely safe.
  • When you do go outside, stay away from fallen trees, power lines, and flood water.
  • Contact your insurer as early as possible for help. Do this before you start any major repair work.
  • Remove any damaged items that could pose a health or injury risk from your home e.g. broken glass.
Aftermath of a cyclone

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