Residents of the coastal areas of South India were thrown into a flurry yesterday as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin warned Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep Islands of an approaching cyclone storm. Dubbed Cyclone Ockhi, meaning ‘eye’ in Bengali, it is particularly dreaded after the scars left by the previous year’s Cyclone Vardah in Tamil Nadu. Residents are warned of “heavy to very heavy rainfall” in the next 24 – 48 hours.

While nature’s wrath cannot be controlled, there are a few things you can control to reduce the impact of the storm on you and those around you. Here are a few steps to prepare yourself for the situation-

1. Do not spread or be mislead by rumours. Pass on only official information from trusted sources like AIR stations.

2. Stay clear of low-lying beaches and other locations which may be swept by storm waves.

3. Keep mobile phones and flash lights charged and stock up on battery cells.

4. Keep kerosene tins, cans, garden tools and all other backyard equipment stored indoors. They can cause great harm when carried by strong winds.

5. Secure loose tiles by cementing and repair doors and windows. Keep wooden boards handy to secure glass windows.

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6. Store food which can be consumed directly or cooked with very little preparation

Prepare a bag of necessities, in case the need to evacuate arises.

The most important thing to equip yourself with is a presence of mind. While we’re hoping that the approaching cyclone gets diverted, by taking measures to prepare yourself, you are also taking a step to secure the lives of those around you.

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Image Credits – Google Images

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