What to do before, during and after the cyclone?

Tropical cyclones cause extensive damage in almost every year in the coastal areas of the world. In this article, the author discusses how to remain safe during the cyclone. Read the article to know various 'dos' before, during and after the cyclone.

Every year, lives and properties are lost during cyclone in the coastal areas. Thankfully, early warning system has been developed and damage can be minimized. In this article, we are going to discuss the desired action of people living in coastal areas before, during and after the cyclone.

What is cyclone ?

Cyclones are massive revolving storms which are caused by the winds blowing around a central area of low atmospheric pressure. Cyclones develop over warm seas near the Equator. In the northern hemisphere, winds blow in anti-clockwise cycle. In the southern hemisphere, the cyclonic winds blow in clockwise cycle. At the centre of the cyclonic storm, there is a calm, cloudless area which is called the 'eye' of the storm. At this place, there is no rain and the wind speed is light.

Classifications of cyclones

According to the World Meteorological Organization, cyclones are classified as tropical cyclones and extra-tropical cyclones, depending upon the wind speed. In India cyclones are classified by: (a) strength of associated winds, (b) storm surges, and (c) exceptional rainfall occurrences.

Major cyclones in India

The coastal areas of India witnessed many cyclones, some of which are mentioned below:
Paradip Cyclone: On 29th October, 1999, a super-cyclone struck Orissa. The wind speed was more than 300 km. per hour. The cyclone caused extensive damage and loss of lives and properties all over the state.
Cyclone Nisha: Cyclone Nisha struck the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka in 2008, causing major damage.
Cyclone Phyan: Cyclone Phyan struck the coasts of Gujarat and Maharashtra in 2009 causing major damage.
Cyclone Jal: Although Cyclone Jal caused more damage in Thailand and Malaysia in 2010, it caused partial damage in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
Cyclone Laila: Cyclone Laila struck coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh in 2010 causing heavy rainfall.
Cyclone Thane: Cyclone Thane struck in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in 2011. Although it was a very strong cyclone, thanks to early warning, the damage caused was minimal.
Cyclone Nilam: Cyclone Nilam struck Tamil Nadu in 2012. Again due to early warning, damage was controlled.
Cyclone Phailin: Cyclone Phailin struck coastal Orissa and Andhra Pradesh in 2013, but due to extensive planning and early warning, the damage was largely contained.

What to do before the cyclone

The following advance actions are required to be taken before the cyclonic session (October-November in India) in coastal areas:-
  1. Check the house, secure loose tiles and repair doors and windows.
  2. Remove dying trees near the house and anchor removable objects which can fly in cyclonic winds.
  3. Keep ready hurricane lantern filled with kerosene, battery operated torches and sufficient dry cells.
  4. Keep dry non-perishable food ready for emergency.

What to do when the warning of cyclone is received

The following should be done by people of coastal areas when there is a forecast of cyclone:-
  1. Listen to All India Radio for forecasts and warnings
  2. Share information but don't spread rumours.
  3. Evacuate when the Government authorities instruct after closing the doors and windows securely. Don't stay back.
  4. Carry extra food, stove, drinking water, torch, battery, transistor, and essential medicine while evacuating.
  5. Switch off the main switch of your house before evacuation.

What to do during cyclone

The following should be done during the cyclone.
  1. Take care of the old and young.
  2. All family members remain close.
  3. Switch of all electrical appliances.
  4. Stay in an empty room.
  5. Movable items should be kept securely tied.
  6. Try to help your neighbours, but don't go out during cyclone.

What to do after the cyclone

The following should be done immediately after the cyclone:-
  1. Those who shifted to the cyclone centre must remain there till instructions are received.
  2. Strictly avoid loose electrical wires after the cyclone.
  3. Beware of snakes and other animals immediately after the cyclone.
  4. Clear debris and carcasses from/near the premise after the cyclone.
  5. Report losses truthfully and accurately to the authorities.

Concluding comments

The motto during cyclone and other natural calamities is to stay safe. So people should plan beforehand, remain alert, stay cool and support the neighbours (if possible) during the cyclone. They must follow the instructions of Government authorities and must not spread rumours.

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Author: K Mohan17 Dec 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Nice information and useful tips provided by the author. But sometimes the Met office is not conveying the right trajectory of the cyclone and thus those who are not aware and caught in the mess. Normally those who reside in coastal areas must be ever prepared for the on set of cyclone as they know the vagaries of nature and they must have the stocks of basics and necessities in advance so that they need not get in to troubles later. And getting themselves insured , along with Insurance for all their family members is important and also insure the assets so that claims can be made after cyclone battering is over.

Author: Partha K.18 Dec 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Thanks to Mr. K. Mohan for reading the article. The article discusses the definition of cyclone, different types of cyclones, the major cyclones in India and most importantly the dos and donts before, during and after the cyclone. Mr. Mohan has sought to know about the sudden course change of cyclones.

In this connection, I would like to state that coastal parts of West Bengal regularly witness this phenomenon. Due to its typical geographical location, the cyclones, generally change the course at the last moment and create havoc mainly in coastal Bangladesh and sometimes in coastal Orissa. But at the time of cyclones, the Met Department issues warning to the entire area where the cyclones can strike. So, people and Government departments remain at maximum alert. Further, the coastal people, with their age-old experience and traditional knowledge, taking necessary precaution considering the temperature and movement of wind before and during the cyclone.

So far as insurance is concerned, crop insurance always exists in our country. This is presently being fine-tuned to include the possibility of losses due to natural disasters. The insurance of cattle and live-stocks during natural calamities are being discussed at apex level, which will hopefully see the light of the day in a few years.

Author: Sankalan Bhattacharya02 May 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

A very informative article about the necessary precautions one must take after the cyclonic warning is received. The destruction caused by a cyclone is huge and we must try to minimize it as much as possible. We cannot stop nature's fury but must find ways to protect ourselves in case of any natural calamity. The weather around the world has become unpredictable and there are many reasons behind it. Pollution is one such factor which is contributing to increasing nature's fury in many ways. We have damaged the environment in many ways and now there is no escape from its aftereffects. Cyclonic conditions are frequent these days and this article serves as a guide with tips on how to handle the situation before and after a cyclone.

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