What are two words that YOU loved to hear as a kid? My kids love to hear, “Get Ready!” Geez, apples really don’t fall far from the tree huh? After hearing these two words when I was little, I’d quickly run into my room to find my most favourite outfit at the time, run a quick brush through my hair and dash into the car where my Dad would be waiting with his newspaper smiling somewhat amused saying, “O, ua e ready?”
“Oh, are you all ready?” I’d grin from ear to ear and click my seatbelt on to secure my spot in case my bro and sis came and shuffled me effortlessly to the middle. Oh to be as light as a feather again! Ahem….anyhoo!😂
Anyway I was so happy to wait in the car, and if the weather looked a bit iffy, I feigned a look of disdain out the window but fr I couldn’t give a toss if a hurricane picked up our car and twirled it around. I’d go so far as to say that I would have leaned out the window and politely asked Mr Hurricane if he wouldn’t mind whirling our car towards the local intermediate school grounds where my netball game was held! My poor Dad, having to put up with Miss Fanatic for gameplay rain or shine, sheesh!🏃🏾♀️🤦🏽♀️😂
Back then getting ready could have meant going to a netball game, movies, pools or even my cousin’s house, either way, once those two words were uttered, they manifested a prelude to fun, fun, fun! Years later and these two words are now also a part of my own children’s vocab, although more recently not always in the same fun context.
It’s no secret that climate change has always been on our collective radar for decades, but what has been relatively ‘off’ the radar for our young especially, are the sobering realities of it which are increasingly affecting all of our lives more significantly. And sadly we’re seeing the effects reverberate around the globe more and more every day.
As my hometown braces for yet another influx of rain and wind via an impending cyclone, I am still debating over its name being entirely apt, in the Christian belief anyway, as it is the feminine namesake of an angel known as a messenger of God’s will to mankind.
Climate change always has a way of directly hitting us up sometimes with warning, sometimes without. I believe that the only thing more important than learning lessons in your own life, is to glean all that you can from the valuable ones of others. This way you have a better chance of navigating your own journey through a cyclone with loved ones as best and as safe as you possibly can. Surely a loving God would want this for us? To faithfully look out for and learn from, each other.
We have the odds in our favour this time round in that we’re able to track the cyclone’s potential range of movements in advance, while the range of effects are quite literally still – up in the air.
So keeping this in mind, we stay calm and in control as we indeed gear up to prepare for the worst and pray for the best. I have personally found 10 top tips for how to prepare for a natural disaster such as a cyclone with the earnest hope dear reader, that we stay safe all throughout and come out well on the other side.
- Valuables box –
Have a plastic storage box with lid on hand to put photos documents and other precious items in plastic bags. Wrap or fold them up tight into sleeping bags / small blankets, items of clothing, shoes, spare plastic bags.
- Personal backpack –
Each person (pet) should have snacks, water bottle, spare change of warm clothing, basic toiletries & towel, torch and battery, waterproofed device(s) & device chargers, cash, wallet, ID cards and docs, warm jacket and hat.
- Survival Box –
Plastic storage box with cans, packaged food, pet food, water, oil, pot, pan, utensils, can opener, picnic pack of light cutlery, plates, cups, torch & batteries, candles & lighters, TP, medications, first aid kid, plasters, sanitary pads, nappies, wipes, pet leash or carrier
- Weather proof your property –
-Use sandbags, old clothes to plug non-weather proof flood-prone spots, gaps under doors, windows.
-Board up vulnerable windows and glass doors from outside or inside with weather proof tape and cardboard boxes. Tie down tarp on cars or other bolted furniture.
-Plug up all sink drains and place heavy weights on top to stop any unwanted wastewater pressure regurgitation. Same with toilet, close lid and heavy weight on top and waterproof the floor with sandbags or old clothes.
- Conserve clean water
Fill up bath tub with water so if water pipes become blocked, you have clean water to flush toilets and clean with.
- Anticipate power outages – Always a good reminder to keep devices fully charged so that you can keep up-to-date with all helpful national and local emergency management notifications . Also know where all your main switches for your house are so that you can switch them all off for safety against potential live wire exposures.
- Plan best strong indoor shelter spot/exit and second bests
This should be away from any potential glass shatter from windows/doors. Make sure you determine the safest exit is clutter free and easily accessible.
- Secure loose outdoor fittings
Anything not bolted down is a potential torpedo blow away. Store rubbish bins, outdoor equipment, tools, furniture inside a garage or store under the house. If this isn’t possible, secure it tightly with thick rope onto a sturdy structure like a tree or fencepost.
- In case of flooding, pump up and have ready-to-use any summer beach/pool inflatables to help those less able to walk through flood water such as young children, elderly and pets.
- Gas up your vehicle(s) as much as possible in the event you need to evacuate, petrol will not be an issue or obstacle to you reaching safety.
And if you are the last-minute person, then at the very least please ensure that you know where all of these essential items are located for you and your loved ones and that bags, containers and other vessels are empty and clean, ready for you to fill.
I truly believe that it is better to be overprepared and relieved, rather than caught unprepared and in despair. See you on the other side dear reader, and as always stay safe and keep well 🙏❤🤜🌪