Natural disasters in South Africa may be few and far between, but they do happen. Having a plan in place can really help you find your bearings in an emergency. There are several rules that you can follow in the event of a flood that can potentially save your life, or the life of someone else.
Go the other way
The main rule for surviving a flood is going the other way. Do not try to swim or be a hero. If you know that there is a flood coming, leave. It can be very stressful to walk away from your belongings, especially if you aren’t sure that you will be back anytime soon. Ready.gov explains that just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
Don’t go back towards the flood, no matter what you have left behind.
Usually before a massive flood, your city will issue a warning. Heed this warning seriously. Pack a backpack with essential survival tools such as a flashlight, non-perishable food items and fresh drinking water for each member of your family. If possible, arrange to stay with family members out of town, Often floods follow extreme weather conditions like heavy rainfall. This means that there is usually ample time to prepare and ensure safe passage into the other side of the storm.
Floods can be very cold, uncomfortable affairs, prepare an outfit of safety boots and thermal gloves in the event that you are stuck and have to wade through water. Many people do not perish from the flood itself but from hypothermia. Normal body temperature is approximately 37 degrees Celsius, and hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. This causes the body to reach dangerously low temperatures, ceasing organ function.
Save all your emergency contacts in your phone in the event of a disaster. You may not be able to think when the time comes, so make sure that all the contact details of emergency services, friends and family are at hand.
Subscribing to an emergency app like iER can be the difference between life and death. In the event that you get caught in a flood, iER App can get the proper emergency assistance to your exact location at the push of a button.
Best of all, the iER app is free.
iER is backed by an emergency-trained call centre staff trained to respond to any emergency situation 24 hours a day, every day!
The app as many other features, including a panic button, GPS tracking, instant alerts and capabilities that allow users to send emergency information to friends and family for extra support.