Tropical cyclone Dineo
We’re urging people living in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Northern KwaZulu-Natal to take care over this week, as we will soon experience the ripple effects of Dineo, the severe tropical cyclone which is set to make landfall imminently.
The South African Weather Service is warning residents in these areas that heavy rains are likely to occur for the rest of the week.
If you live in one of the affected areas, you can budget on some helpful tips to help you stay safe and minimise damage. Read on to find out how you can take care during severe storms and flooding.
- Try to make arrangements to park your car undercover and delay travelling until the storm has subsided.
- If you’re caught in a heavy storm, look for cover. This could include a covered car park, a petrol station or beneath a bridge. However, take care when pulling over; put on your hazard lights, and don’t risk your safety or the safety of others by dashing madly for cover.
- Don’t park under trees as there is a danger of falling branches and debris. Stay in your car and only leave the safety of your sheltered spot when the storm has passed.
- If you’re on the road and visibility is too poor or the road is too slippery, rather pull over and switch on your car’s hazards until visibility or traction improves.
- If possible, remove dead and rotting branches from trees to avoid the risk of falling debris during a severe storm. Also try to ensure that debris is removed from roofs and gutters.
- Make sure that your outdoor furniture is safely stored or firmly secured.
- The power surge of a lightning strike can easily overload most appliances and devices, so it’s best to unplug these before the storm arrives.
- It’s sensible to purchase your own supply of sandbags which can be placed against doorways and low-level vents in times of flooding; this will help minimise the amount of water that enters your home. Also move high-value items to the highest possible floor or shelf if a flood threatens.
- General and regular home maintenance, like clearing debris from gutters, is essential and will limit damage and discomfort in times of disaster.
- Turn off gas and electricity if flooding occurs.
- Motorists should not attempt to drive in flood conditions. Remember that just 15cm of moving water can knock you off your feet and water just 60cm deep can sweep a vehicle away! Generally, if the water is deeper than the bottom of your doors or the bottom third of your wheels, it’s not advisable to drive through it.
- Flash flooding often occurs when rivers flow over low-lying bridges, so avoid crossing bridges or roads next to rivers during heavy rains. If you do get stuck on a flooded road, it’s best to switch to the lowest possible gear and proceed slowly. If you approach a flooding storm water drain at speed, it is advisable to take your foot off the accelerator and let your speed drop gradually. Never use the brakes suddenly because this may cause the car to skid or aquaplane.
- If you can’t drive your car during flooding, rather abandon the vehicle and climb to higher ground. It’s dangerous to try and drive out of the water to safety.
If you’re insured with us, you can count on your car and home insurance being there for you when you need it.
To submit a claim, call us on 0861 00 19 17.