Rather safe than sorry: what to do in case of a severe storm

An image of the tropical storm Dineo earlier this week. RGB composite image (c) EUMETSAT 2017.

According to the South African Weather Service, the greatest impact to South African provinces is expected to hit tonight (Thursday) and into the morning hours of tomorrow (Friday) in the Limpopo and possibly Mpumalanga provinces.

Heavy rain is expected over the entire eastern half of Limpopo (including the Kruger National Park), where 100 to 200mm of rain could occur per day.

While the storm is not expected to hit Gauteng, the nature of these storms can sometimes be unpredictable and they are susceptible to direction shifts.

Read: WeatherSA warns of more severe thunderstorms

In the case of a storm hitting town, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

• Stay indoors
If such a tropical storm should arrive, the obvious and safest thing to do will be to stay inside the house.
Make sure to bring your pets inside as well as they can also be injured if heavy winds should cause debris to be thrown around.

• Keep doors and windows closed
When safely inside, make sure to close all doors and windows to prevent wind getting in and possibly causing more damage.

• Secure outdoor items
If, and only if, it is safe to do so, move your vehicle undercover and secure any outdoor items that may be damaged or blown by the wind.

• Stay away from windows
Flying debris in strong winds can be extremely dangerous, keep well away from any windows or sliding doors that may be broken by debris.

What determines a severe tropical storm or cyclone?

Wind speed is used to categorise a tropical cyclone (Source):
• Less than 34 knots (60km/h) – tropical depression,
• More than 34 knots – tropical storm and given a name,
• More than 64 knots (120km/h) – designated either a hurricane, typhoon, severe tropical cyclone, severe cyclonic storm or tropical cyclone depending where it is in the world.

Read: Make sure your home can weather any storm

Izahn Krige

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