Beware of the thunderstorms and don’t get swept away

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services warned the public against expected thunderstorms.

“We have officially entered into thunderstorm season. Residents are urged to listen to the radio, watch television, read newspapers and also follow the @CityofjoburgZA or @CityofjoburgEMS social media pages for latest updates regarding Johannesburg weather,” said Robert Mulaudzi, spokesperson for the City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services.

Mulaudzi explained that past incidents left a number of roads flooded, vehicles were swept away by strong floods, houses and vehicles were damaged in most parts of the city and that residents and motorists should take necessary safety precautions, especially those living in low-lying areas like informal settlements. Mulaudzi urges them to monitor water levels and move to higher ground when there is a need to do so.

WATCH: Notorious Belgrave Bridge is flooded and boomed off

“The City of Johannesburg Disaster Management together with the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services officials are on high alert monitoring all our low-lying [areas], mostly our 189 informal settlements throughout the city since we know that when we have wet weather conditions like this, they are the hardest hit.”

Mulaudzi assured that the disaster management centre is fully operational and monitoring teams have been dispatched to all seven regions of the city to make sure that they can respond to any emergency as quickly as possible.

Flood safety tips:

  • Be aware of where you build your house and avoid high-risk areas like riverbeds
  • Obey the rules and bylaws of your local municipality. Stay away from land which is prohibited by the local municipality
  • Become involved as a community disaster risk management volunteer. Contact your local ‘be safe centre’ and find out how to become a Community Emergency Responds Team (Cert) member in your area
  • Make sure the drains in your area are cleaned regularly and are not blocked by debris, as blocked drains cause flooding
  • Never try to cross flooded rivers, streets, or streams
  • If you are in a low-lying area, monitor water levels and move to higher ground when the water level rises
  • Listen continuously to the radio or watch television for updated emergency information and be ready to evacuate the area immediately when there is a need to do so
  • Never attempt to cross a flooded river or bridge with your car; your vehicle might be swept away by flood waters.

How will you prepare for the thunderstorm season? Share on our Facebook page.

Staff reporter

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