As it has been anticipated by South African Weather Services (SAWS) that heavy downpours will be experienced around the country, Gauteng being one of the provinces, currently the City of Ekurhuleni is experiencing heavy constant downpours which might result if flooding.
Heavy downpours accompanied by thunderstorm are the most dangerous weather conditions that can be deadly.
They cause power outages, damage infrastructures, water levels rise rapidly, elevating the risk of flooding.
In such instances, drowning is eminent. Floods can occur either with little warning or develop slowly after rain has ceased moreover the low-lying areas.
City of Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) would like to caution the residents in general to consider personal safety, pets` safety, livestock and safety to their personal belongings and properties.
“The City`s emergency services rescue teams are ready for any eventualities emanating due to this weather conditions to protect and save lives at risk,” said emergency spokesperson William Ntladi.
Parents are also advised to alert their children of the dangers of drowning going into festive season. Children need to leave earlier than usual to school and exam centers for in case rivers, ‘spruits’ and culverts they are to cross on their way are flooded, they can use alternative routes without any pressure of time.
In general, parents are encouraged to accompany the little children to their different learning institutions for safety reasons.
The pipelines surfaces are slippery, pedestrians walking on them might find themselves falling into the flooded rivers and drown. Trenches left opened, are acting as a death trap. Unsuspecting pedestrians might find themselves falling in and ultimately drown.
People living in low-lying areas should take special precaution during adverse weather conditions. They should monitor the rising water levels and evacuate the areas to a safer place or higher spots in case the water level rises.
Tips to survive when flood hits your area
Here are some additional safety points to consider: –
• Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, use alternative route.
• Stay away from bridges over fast-moving water current.
• Depending on the type of flooding: Evacuate if told to do so.
• The public should monitor weather alerts on radios and televisions.
• Avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water. Water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and crash.
• Do not drink flood water, or use it to wash dishes, brush teeth, or wash/prepare food. Drink clean, safe water.
• Throw away any food and bottled water that might have encountered floodwater.
• Keep your cell phone available and have emergency numbers at hand.
• Be vigilant at night. It is harder to recognise potentially deadly road and water hazards.
- Do not camp or park your car along rivers, especially during heavy rains or thunderstorms.
• If you are on foot, be aware that low level moving water can also be dangerous during flood conditions. If you come upon moving or damming water, do not walk into it.
• Where possible, communities are encouraged to try to avoid contact with any flood waters. The water may be contaminated with raw sewage, oil or other dangerous substances, and may also be charged with electricity from fallen power lines.