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  • Cyclone Fani Alert - 7 tips to keep safe during a cyclone

     

    As cyclone Fani inches closer, it is important to understand the risks it brings. With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a yellow warning for the states of Odisha, West Bengal, and in parts of Andhra Pradesh, it is important for the people in these regions and those nearby to take active precautions to save themselves, their family and their properties.

    Cyclones in the past have killed tens of thousands of people in the past but due to better forecasting and improved government preparedness have resulted in lesser casualties. In spite of the improved response to cyclones from the authorities, the ultimate safety likes on the individual.

    For those we are in the path of cyclone Fani, here are 7 tips to keep yourself and your family safe during and after the cyclone. 

    1. Move to a cyclone resistant place beforehand: Ensure you and your family are evacuated and have moved to a cyclone resistant building or space beforehand, to ensure that you are in a safe and protected place and can withstand the strong winds and rains that could damage a weak or old building and be life-threatening.
    2. Gather an emergency kit: Ensure that you quickly gather an emergency kit which consists of first aid supplies, torch, battery, and a battery powered radio.
    3. Switch off your main electricity: Ensure all electrical devices are switched off and if possible are unplugged. Also, try to ensure that your main master switch is also switched off. Due to power lines breaking and lightning strikes, fire is a major cause of concern due to short circuit. By taking these measures, fire-related risks are drastically cut down.
    4. Switch off your gas regulator: Due to the fast winds, there is a high chance of debris flying at high speeds and crashing into your house. Gas pipes are vulnerable to these strikes and keeping the gas cylinder regulator switched off will prevent any gas leakage which can be a fire hazard.
    5. Keep ready to eat food and drinking water in stock: During the cyclone and to some extent after a cyclone hit, it might be difficult to get access to a cooked meal. Hence it is vital to stock up on biscuits, snacks, nuts and drinking water to sustain yourself while facing a cyclone and its aftermath as it may take a couple of days for things to normalise after a cyclone hit.
    6. Secure your vehicles: With winds expected to be between 150 to 200 kmph, all 2 wheelers and some 4 wheelers are vulnerable to debris damage or might even get flipped on their sides. If possible try storing your vehicles in a covered parking area or behind a sturdy wall which will keep it protected from the brunt of the wind force. After the cyclone is gone, getting access to transportation for a medical emergency or to gather supplies is of vital importance, hence it is important to secure any form of transportation you have.
    7. Listen to the Radio: In most situations like these television and internet access is limited or completely down. Radio is the most important and reliable source of news and will help you get the latest information on the cyclone trajectory and will also relay important safety and alert information for specific areas which can be vital to you. Please only rely on information that is from official sources, and avoid believing in unreliable sources, that could raise panic and result in wrong decisions being taken.

    The home ministry has set up a control room and anyone who needs assistance or updates on Cyclone Fani can call on the helpline number 1938. The comprehensive list of emergency numbers are listed below

    Odisha Cyclone Fani helpline:

     

    Railway helpline:

     

    Odisha district control centres (Source: All India Radio)