Preparing for the next cyclone threat is a matter of urgency
It is critically importantly that we should monitor all weather bulletins. Advance warnings give us time to complete our preparation and acquire necessary items and equipment we need during and after a disaster
The Diwali rain acted as a prelude to the cyclone season which begins today. Just because Cyclone Winston hit us in February, it does not mean that we will be spared this season. In fact, there are predictions that at least more than one cyclone could be heading here. It’s all the more reason that we should now be switching to preparation mode.
It also raises a sense of urgency to complete the rebuilding of homes and schools destroyed by Cyclone Winston.
Some victims are still living in tents. These are the people that need urgent attention, to have their homes and schools rebuilt. We must do everything possible to accelerate the process so that we are all prepared. We can no longer take the threats of cyclone and their associated risks lightly. Everything must be done to have everyone ready in the event of another cyclone. We should all be prepared for the worst scenario. We need to strengthen our resilience so that we can cope with the impending danger. Learning from our experience during Cyclone Winston, we should be making appropriate adjustments to existing structures to strengthen them. That experience showed us that some structures not built to the required safety specifications stood no chance at the height of the cyclone’s fury. We should immediately, if we have not done it already, build our food and water storage capacity in individual homes, wherever it is possible and affordable. This would help ease the Government burden in trying to reach every victim during at least the first 72 hours after a disaster. The Government can concentrate on looking after the worst affected areas. As we prepare to be resilient we are building our capacity to be self reliant. Getting Government help should be our last resort after we have tried to help ourselves.
It is critically importantly that we should monitor all weather bulletins. Advance warnings give us time to complete our preparation and acquire necessary items and equipment we need during and after a disaster. The wild weather patterns affecting us and others in the region are a result of climate change caused by global warming.
It’s a reality that we must face and there is very little we can do about it. We should do all we can to face up to it. We should follow the example of the Government which has now included climate change in its economic planning.
Where it’s financially possible, families should save for the rainy day and start a fund especially for disasters. The fund should now be part of the regular budget of every family. We have learned by bitter experience that our suffering in a natural disaster can be exacerbated by a lack of preparation.
Preparation should start now, if we have not started. This is a matter of urgency.