In today’s day and age, humans have mastered the ability to mould and alter nature for their own use and benefit. Every once in a while, a natural disaster hits us and displays nature’s ultimate superiority. Advances in technology, however, have allowed the human race to be warned well in time and mitigate, if not erase, the destruction that might be caused.
Cyclone Vayu, the latest of nature’s doing, has been forming and intensifying in Mumbai and some neighbouring coastal areas of Maharashtra.
These areas witnessed a windy Wednesday, 12 June morning as cyclone Vayu turned into a "very severe cyclonic storm", the Indian Meteorological Department said.
As the cyclone continued to progress towards Saurashtra and Kutch regions of neighbouring Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) upgraded its severity condition.
The Indian Navy has formed teams in several cities in the western regions, which are kept on standby to response immediately to the impending cyclone
While the Met department has issued warnings to the states and administrative mitigation procedures are underway, there is a lot that can be done at the individual level to prevent or minimise the harm and destruction.
Earlier, when cyclone Fani had struck Odisha, the National Disaster Management Authority of India, had suggested the following measures:
Before the Cyclone Season
A cyclone alert is indicative of danger anytime within the next 24 hours. Stay alert throughout.
Check the house; secure loose tiles and carry out repairs of doors and windows.
Small and loose things, which can fly in strong winds, should be stored safely in a room.
Remove dead branches or dying trees close to the house.
Keep some dry non-perishable food ready for use in emergency.
Keep a hurricane lantern filled with kerosene, battery operated torches and enough dry cells.
Listen to the radio and keep monitoring the warnings.
Communication is key. Pass the information to as many people as possible.
When the Cyclone Starts
When your area is under cyclone warning, get away from low-lying beaches and other areas close to the coast.
If you have to evacuate the house, move your valuable articles to upper floors to minimise flood damage.
Be sure that a window and door can be opened only on the side opposite to the one facing the wind.
Switch off the electrical mains in your house.
Provide strong suitable support for outside doors.
If you do not have wooden boards handy, paste paper strips on glasses to prevent splinters. However, this may not avoid breaking windows.
When evacuation is instructed, pack essentials for yourself and your family to last a few days. These should include medicines, special food for babies, children and elders.
Most importantly, stay calm. Panic only creates confusion. Make sure that injured people are given medical assistance immediately. Post rehabilitation, report the incurred losses to the concerned authorities.
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