On Sunday, the SA Weather Service issued a warning of heavy rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal, highlighting the risk of severe flooding in the area and its surrounds.
The World Economic Forum Global Risks Report released earlier this year listed ‘natural disasters and extreme weather’ as the second most severe risk on a worldwide scale over the next 10 years.
With South Africa’s recent surge in floods, the country is not excluded from this list of predicted high-risk areas.
The Western Cape floods, which happened in September, caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure in the area.
Moses Khangale, Manager of Stakeholder Programmes at Santam, has advised those living in the forewarned areas prone to extreme flooding to take precautions.
‘’South Africans need to be careful and exercise extreme vigilance in the wake of the upcoming rainfall as predicted by the SA Weather Service and take precautionary steps to lower risks of loss or injury associated to the effects the floods could have on you or your property,” said Khangale.
He shares these tips below:
Driving through a downpour
- If possible, avoid areas prone to flooding – particularly in periods of heavy downpours.
- Monitor the local radio stations in your area for weather and traffic updates and plan your route accordingly.
- Reduce your driving speed in rainy conditions and increase your following distance from the vehicle in front of you.
- Make sure your headlights are switched on (Do not put these on the bright setting).
- Be alert and be aware of the vehicles around you – particularly in times of poor visibility.
- Obey the rules of the road, especially any temporary signage or hazard warnings around flooding.
Should you find yourself in deep water
- Stay calm and stay alert - do not panic.
- Avoid driving through sections of water where you are unable to see the road. This is both risky and dangerous.
- Do not drive around or through barricades – they have been put there for your safety.
- Should your vehicle be trapped by rising water, stop, then get out of the car and move to safer or higher ground. Your safety and the safety of your passengers is more important than your vehicle.
How to protect your house:
- Clear gutters of debris frequently to ensure less chance of overflow that could lead to water push backs and potential internal water damage.
- Inspect the roof regularly and be vigilant about maintaining it.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to prevent branch or debris damage to a home.
- Secure outdoor furniture or move it under cover.
- Ensure that your home and household contents are insured for the correct replacement value.