What to do if tropical cyclone Dineo reaches you

Tropical cyclone Dineo has continued to strengthen over the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel and is expected to make landfall in Mozambique late Wednesday evening.
Tropical Cyclone Dineo nears the shores of Mozambique, Wednesday, 15 February, 2017. Photo: Facebook/Storm Report SA

JOHANNESBURG – Residents of Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu-Natal are bracing for the ripple effects of Dineo, the tropical cyclone.

Insurance company Dialdirect offered the following tips when the cyclone makes landfall:

READ: Areas in tropical storm Dineo's path prepare for landfall

Heavy rain:

  1.  Park your car undercover and delay travelling until the storm has subsided.

  2. If you are caught in a heavy storm, look for cover. This could include a covered car park, a petrol station or under a bridge. However, take extreme care when pulling over, put on your hazard lights, and don’t risk your safety or the safety of others by dashing for cover.

  3. Don’t park under trees as there is a danger of falling branches and debris. Stay in your car and only leave the safety of your sheltered spot once the storm has passed.

  4. If you’re on the road and visibility is too poor or the road is too slippery, rather pull over and switch on your car’s hazards until visibility or traction improves.

  5. Make sure that any dead and rotting branches are removed from trees to avoid the risk of falling debris during a severe storm. Also ensure that debris is removed from roofs and gutters.

  6.  Make sure that your outdoor furniture is safely stored or firmly secured.

  7. The power surge of a lightning strike can easily overload appliances and devices. It’s best to unplug these before the storm arrives.

Floods:

  1. It is sensible to purchase your own supply of sandbags which can be placed against doorways and low-level vents in times of flooding to help minimise the amount of water that enters your home. Move valuables to the highest possible floor or shelf if a flood threatens.

  2. General and regular home maintenance, like clearing debris from gutters, is essential and will most limit damage and discomfort in times of disaster.

  3.  Turn off gas and electricity if flooding occurs.

  4. Motorists should not attempt to drive in flood conditions. Remember that just 15cm of moving water can knock you off your feet and water just 60cm deep can sweep a vehicle away. Generally, if the water is deeper than the bottom of your doors or the bottom third of your wheels, it is not advisable to drive through it.

  5. Flash flooding often occurs when rivers flow over low-lying bridges. Avoid crossing bridges or roads next to rivers during heavy rains. If you do get stuck on a flooded road, it’s best to switch to the lowest possible gear and proceed slowly. If you approach a flooding storm water drain at speed, it is advisable to take your foot off the accelerator and let your speed drop gradually. Never use the brakes suddenly because this may cause the car to skid or aquaplane.

  6. If trapped in a vehicle during flooding, rather abandon the vehicle and climb to higher ground. It is dangerous to try to drive out of the water to safety.

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