Cyclone Nisarga: What to do before, during and after a cyclonic storm to stay safe, secure and healthy

As Cyclone Nisarga approaches, predicted to make a landfall on Wednesday afternoon, every citizen living in Maharashtra and Gujarat should take immediate action to prevent all types of accidents and injuries

Myupchar June 03, 2020 14:56:43 IST
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Cyclone Nisarga: What to do before, during and after a cyclonic storm to stay safe, secure and healthy

Just days after Cyclone Amphan caused widespread destruction in West Bengal and parts of Odisha, another cyclone is all set to hit India - this time on the western coastline. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for the coastal parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, with cyclonic storm Nisarga set to make landfall on 3 June.

The cyclone, arising due to a deep depression in the Arabian Sea, is likely to be the first natural phenomenon of this magnitude in nearly a century in Mumbai. While the IMD says that the cyclone will cause rainfall over both states, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has already started efforts to minimise the extent of damage that cyclones usually leave in their wake.

A study in Prehospital and Disaster Medicine in 2015 highlights how apart from the immediate trauma that cyclones cause, they also lead to communicable diseases, water contamination and food shortages and even make the treatment of non-communicable diseases more difficult in the immediate aftermath. If Cyclone Amphan’s aftermath is anything to learn from, every citizen living in Maharashtra and Gujarat should take immediate action to prevent all types of accidents and injuries. The following precautionary steps will help you stay safe before, during and in the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Nisarga.

Things to take care of before the cyclone hits:

  • Loose objects are likely to fly or flap during a cyclone, which can lead to injuries, loss of property and even infections. Secure loose sheets on the roof, doors and windows and make sure trees or branches that can cause damage are trimmed.
  • Make sure there’s no intrusion of rainwater in your house and clean nearby gutters to prevent the blockage of rainwater or stagnation. These can lead to mould, bacterial infections, fungal infections and later also cause vector-borne diseases, like malaria and dengue.
  • Secure all outdoor units like overhead tanks, air conditioner units, coolers and pipelines, to minimise disruption of services and loss of property.
  • Check the earthing and electrical connections of your house to avoid electrocutions, electrical shocks, fires and sparks.
  • Make sure you have power backup and a supply of food and safe drinking water for two to three days. Electrical, food, water and internet services might get disrupted during a cyclone, so ensure that you can last at least three days with your backup.
  • Park your vehicles inside a garage or a safe place that has a shutter as the winds are so strong that they can lift cars and even trucks off the ground, which can cause massive damage to property and even lives.

Things you need to stock before the cyclone hits:

  • Torch with extra batteries.
  • Power banks for recharging mobile phones.
  • Necessary medications such as antipyretics (for fever), cough-suppressants, bandages, antiseptic creams and lotions, muscle relaxants and painkillers.
  • Mosquito repellent creams, mosquito nets, sprays, etc as the logged water can cause the breeding of mosquitoes.
  • Ready-to-eat food items, water bottles and waterproof bags to keep them safe.
  • Masking tape to seal the windows.

Things to remember during the cyclonic storm:

  • Do not step out under any circumstances during the cyclone. This can lead to injuries and loss of life in extreme cases.
  • Do not touch open electrical sockets during the thunderstorm, since these can cause electrical shock and electrocutions.
  • Stay updated about the cyclone, pass the information, but do not spread rumours or misinformation.

Things you need to take care of after the cyclone has passed:

  • Do not step out of your house immediately after the storm has passed. Wait until the situation is officially announced safe, as there can be a potentially dangerous tree that may fall or live wires around your house.
  • Do not touch the power points in your house until you get them checked as they can give you an electric shock.
  • There might be visible contamination of water after the cyclone. You can strain the water using a towel and then boil it for 10 minutes before consuming it. Before turning on your stove, make sure that there is no spillage of any flammable liquid around that area.
  • Help your neighbours/community in cleaning up the wreckage and debris caused due to the cyclone.

For more information, read our article on First Aid Tips.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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