DO’S and DON’T’S during a natural disaster

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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.

FLOODS:

DO’s:

•    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.

DON’Ts:

•    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.

EARTHQUAKE:

DO’s:

•    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.

DON’Ts:

•    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.

LIGHTNING:

DO’s:

•    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.

DON’Ts:

•    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.

TSUNAMIS:

DO’s:

•    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.

DON’T’S:

•    Do not use candles.

•    Do not go near the sea.

•    Do not use electrical appliances.

•    Do not go sightseeing.

Written by Medha

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