Tips to keep yourself and your property safe
Standard Bank Insurance Limited offers advice that may help to keep you and your property safe should you find yourself in the path of extreme weather conditions:
- Keep listening to the news on your favourite radio station or watch the weather on the TV for information or warnings.
- Unplug computers, TVs, decoders and other electrical appliances during a storm to avoid possible damage caused by electricity surges.
- Ensure roofs don’t have broken or loose tiles – these could allow the entry of water during heavy downpours.
- Check your property for any loose material and tie down (or fill with water) all large, relatively light items, such as boats and rubbish bins.
- Make sure that roof gutters are clean and unclogged, so that water doesn’t accumulate and seep through roof tiles onto ceilings. Water should be able to flow through freely.
- Keep house windows closed so that they don’t get smashed closed by high winds or let hail into your home.
Pack an emergency kit
If the storm is particularly violent, you’ll be grateful to have an emergency kit. This could include:
- Important documents in sealed bags, some cash.
- Baby formula and nappies, if needed
- Sturdy gloves
- Fresh water
- Waterproof bags
- Portable radio/ Cellphone
- Non-perishable food and a can opener
- Spare batteries
- Essential medication
- Power bank
What should motorists do?
For motorists who are caught unawares while driving, the insurance provider suggests the following steps:
- Ensure your car is full of petrol.
- Avoid going anywhere during a big storm but if you are already on the road drive slowly and carefully.
- Drive as slowly as you need and increase your following distance by at least a three-car distance.
- Turn your lights on so that you can be seen by other vehicles.
- If you can, pull over and put your hazards on.
- Don’t park under trees as there is a risk of falling branches and debris.
- Be proactive and ensure that your windscreen wipers are always in good condition, so they can cope with sudden downpours.
- Never get out of your vehicle unless absolutely necessary because of possible injury from hailstones or danger from flooding.
- Don’t attempt to drive through water washing across the road, or across low-water bridges; your car could stall in the water and it requires only about 15cm of rapidly moving water to wash it away.