Cape Town – With a severe tropical storm upgraded to cyclone status on Wednesday afternoon, "Dineo" is dominating much of the Mozambique channel. There is a chance of it bringing heavy rainfall and/or flooding to some north-eastern regions of South Africa between Thursday and the weekend.
KwaZulu-Natal disaster management teams are said to be "leaving nothing to chance". Limpopo and Mpumalanga are also on high alert.
Warwick Scott-Rodger, head of Dialdirect insurance, offered these tips to keep safe:
1) Delay travelling if possible until a heavy storm has subsided. If caught while travelling, look for cover in places such as closed car parks or petrol stations;
2) Pull over and switch on your car’s hazard lights if visibility is poor or the roads are too slippery;
3) Just 15cm of moving water can knock you off your feet, while 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 is not advisable to drive through it;
4) Avoid crossing bridges or roads next to rivers during heavy rain, as flash flooding is a risk. If stuck on a flooded road, switch to the lowest possible gear and proceed slowly. Using your brakes suddenly may cause you to skid or aquaplane;
5) If you get trapped in your car during flooding, abandon it and climb to higher ground;
6) Trees are a hazard. Remove dead and rotting branches from trees at home to avoid the risk of them falling during extreme weather conditions. Don’t park under trees during a storm;
7) Make sure your outdoor furniture is safely stored or secured;
8) Unplug your appliances and devices before a storm, because the power surge of a lighting strike can easily overload them;
9) Invest in sandbags to place against doorways and low-level vents during flooding. Move high-value items to the highest floor in your home or a shelf;
10) Turn off gas and electricity if flooding occurs.
Jenna Etheridge, News24 | News24