Before we start with what we should and should not do during a natural disaster, we need to get familiar with what we mean by the term disaster.
A DISASTER in a lay man’s language refers to as any sudden event which causes significant damage to life and property. It also covers a broader part of the society or community, which can have social, economic, and political impacts as well on the whole. It might be an event which lasts for a short period, or it may also prolong and stretched over long durations of time. As we all may be aware, there are two types of disasters, Man-made disasters, and Natural disasters. We are broadly going to be discussing natural disasters a few examples of which are floods, hurricanes, earthquake, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and lightning.
Let’s discuss how to deal with these disasters.
• During floods, one should try and immediately evacuate their homes in case the water has entered the house.
• Turn off all the switches and valves at home.
• Disconnect the electrical appliances.
• Stay away from electricity generating devices.
• Stay at ground level or move to a safer place.
• Make sure that each family member has an identity card.
• Stay away from power lines.
• Keep updated with the news to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
• Avoid floodwaters as it may be contaminated.
• Do not walk through flowing water.
• Do not use electrical appliances like tv, vacuum cleaners, etc.
• Do not eat food which has been in direct contact with flood water.
• Do not swim through the running water.
• Stay still.
• Drop to the ground.
• Get to the corners of your house.
• Get under a table or furniture.
• Hold on to something till the shaking stops.
• Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes and cover your head with a pillow.
• If outside, stay away from streetlights, trees, buildings, and wires.
• Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or a piece of clothing.
• If in serious trouble, shout as loudly as you can.
• Do not hide under a bed.
• Do not use your telephone.
• Do not light a matchstick.
• Do not turn on the knob of cylinders.
• Do not leave household items unsecured.
• Do not run outside until needed.
• Stay inside.
• Stay off corded phones or any electrical device.
• Never lie flat on the ground or under a tree.
• Immediately get away from pools or any water bodies.
• Stay away from things that conduct electricity.
• Stay away from the damaged area.
• Stay away from tin sheets.
• Carry out repairs, don’t leave them loose.
• Do not take a shower, bath, or wash dishes.
• Do not stick with a group or another person if stuck outside.
• Do not stand near metal objects, such as fencing, bikes, golf carts, or any machinery.
• Do not retreat to pavilions, picnic shelters, or other small structures.
• Do not touch metal pipes.
• Go as high, and as far as you can.
• Every foot inland or upward can make a difference.
• Be alert to tsunami signs.
• Evacuate. Do not wait.
• If possible, pick areas above sea level or go as far as 3 kilometers inland, away from the coastline.
• Avoid disaster areas.
• Use battery-powered lanterns.
• Watch the news and keep updated.
• Do not use candles.
• Do not go near the sea.
• Do not use electrical appliances.
• Do not go sightseeing.
Written by Medha