Devastating torrential rains in Tamil Nadu are a reminder that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and in any form. Who could have thought that Chennai would experience floods of this magnitude?
Devastating torrential rains in Tamil Nadu are a reminder that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and in any form. Who could have thought that Chennai would experience floods of this magnitude? This calamity has once again brought home the lack of disaster awareness and basic preparedness amongst our people.
Every year, thousands of people caught in devastating natural calamities are left worse off than they would have been better prepared. And, as always, women and children are the worst sufferers.
Using its vast experience in natural disasters of all kinds including floods, here are Care India’s 7 basic steps towards better preparedness:
1. Make full use of technology before signals go down; alert people via smses, whatsapp and call
2. If escape from the neighbourhood is impossible even as the flood water is rising, look for floatation devices like old tube, crates and planks for use in dire situations
3. Make sure the family, especially children know safe parts of the house to reach before during floods, e.g. roof tops, terraces and upper floors
4. Make sure you have reserves of non perishable ready-to-eat food, portable water, for emergencies, stored in an easily accessible location. Plastic sheets and even garbage bags can be used as raincoats and to keep clothes and provisions dry
5. Shut off the electricity supply if the water enters your house. Keep torches, batteries, match boxes and candles handy
6. A pinch of salt and a fistful of sugar dissolved in water make a good oral rehydration solution in case of water borne afflictions. For women, ample stock of sanitary napkins at home is a must
7. If toilets are inaccessible, ensure that human waste is not deposited directly into flood waters but in whatever inconspicuous corner or spot that may be either available or jury rigged.