The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has intensified sensitization and awareness campaign aimed at helping people survive floods.
The development follows a stern warning from the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services that Central, Southern and Lakeshore areas will experience heavy rainfalls which will be associated with flash floods in low-lying and flood-prone areas.
Met says the rains are likely to be associated with strong winds and lightning hence the public being advised to by all means to avoid seeking shelter under trees and weak infrastructure.
In view of the severe weather warning, DoDMA in collaboration with other various stakeholders has intensified sensitizations and calls for people living in flood-prone areas to move upland.
The department says apart from tipping the public, it will also be airing radio programmes and jingles on various radio stations to raise awareness of the imminent flooding and has since advised people to develop a culture of listening to the radio or watching television.f
People have also been urged to be aware of streams, drainage channels and other areas known to flood suddenly since flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rains.
“Pay attention to flood early warning signs such as long rainfall duration and rising water levels in lakes and rivers. If you are capable, assist in search and rescue and provision of relief aid. Identify safer places for evacuation during floods.
“Stay away from power lines and electrical wires and report downed power lines to Escom officials, law or other relevant authorities. Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters,” DoDMA has tipped the public.
Furthermore, people in flood prone areas have been told not to drive into flooded areas and drifts and if floodwaters rise around a car, drivers have been advised to abandon their cars and move to higher ground to avoid being swept away.
Parents have also been advised to teach their children about flood hazards and tell them not to walk through moving water since six inches of moving water can make one fall and being washed away.
Last year, floods affected over fifteen districts of the country, killing over sixty people and leaving thousands stranded and homeless.