Published By: Elisa Ghosh

7 Safety Tips for Families to Stay Safe During a Cyclone

Cyclones, indeed, can be devastating natural disasters that bring strong winds, heavy rains, and flooding. Ensuring your family's safety during such events requires preparation and vigilance. How can you protect your loved ones and minimise risks when a cyclone strikes? Here are seven essential safety tips to help your family stay safe during a cyclone.

Stay Informed and Heed Warnings

Understanding the importance of staying updated with reliable weather information is crucial. Monitor local news channels, weather apps, and official government alerts to keep track of the cyclone's progress. Authorities issue warnings well in advance, so it’s important to heed these alerts and follow any evacuation orders or safety advisories promptly. Ensure that you have a battery-operated radio as a backup in case of power outages.

Create an Emergency Plan

Having a well-thought-out emergency plan can significantly enhance your family’s safety. Discuss the plan with all family members, designating a safe room in your house where everyone can gather during the cyclone. This room should ideally be on the ground floor, away from windows and exterior walls. Additionally, establish an evacuation route and a meeting point outside your home in case you need to leave quickly. Practice drills regularly so that everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is a vital resource during a cyclone. It should include essential items such as non-perishable food, bottled water, medications, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, and important documents (like identification, insurance papers, and medical records) in a waterproof container. Don’t forget to include supplies for infants, elderly family members, and pets. Ensure that the kit is easily accessible and check it periodically to replace expired items.

Secure Your Home

Taking steps to secure your home can prevent injuries and reduce damage. Install storm shutters or board up windows with plywood to protect against flying debris. Trim trees and remove loose branches that could become projectiles in strong winds. Reinforce garage doors and secure outdoor furniture, grills, and other objects that could be blown away. Ensure that your roof is securely fastened and repair any loose tiles or shingles.

Know How to Turn Off Utilities

Knowing how to turn off utilities can prevent accidents and further damage during a cyclone. Familiarize yourself with the location of your home's main electrical, water, and gas shut-off valves. In the event of flooding or structural damage, it’s important to turn off these utilities to avoid electrical shocks, gas leaks, and water damage. Ensure that all family members know how to safely shut off utilities.

Stay Indoors During the Cyclone

Once the cyclone hits, staying indoors is critical for safety. Remain in your designated safe room and avoid windows and glass doors. Keep all doors and windows closed to maintain the structural integrity of your home. If the eye of the cyclone passes over, it may appear calm temporarily, but it’s important to stay inside as the cyclone’s winds will resume from the opposite direction. Use your emergency kit’s supplies as needed and remain indoors until authorities declare it safe to come out.

Stay Safe After the Cyclone

The dangers do not end once the cyclone passes. Be cautious when venturing outside, as there may be hazards such as downed power lines, flooding, and debris. Listen to local authorities for updates and instructions regarding safe routes and areas to avoid. Avoid wading through floodwaters, which can contain harmful contaminants and pose risks of electrocution. Inspect your home for damage, and if you suspect a gas leak, evacuate immediately and contact emergency services.

Cyclones are powerful and unpredictable, but with proper preparation and safety measures, you can protect your family and minimise risks. By staying informed, having a plan, securing your home, and knowing how to respond before, during, and after the cyclone, you can ensure your family’s safety and well-being during these natural disasters.