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20/10/2016: Exercise caution during thunderstorms
20 October 2016
The City urges its residents, both young and old to regularly take note of weather reports which will help them to make better decisions regarding their personal safety as the City experiences sudden and intensive bursts of rainfall.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety, Councillor Michael Sun says, "This is particularly important for motorists because they can then avoid roads and bridges that are prone to flooding". Continuing he says, "The City traditionally receives heavy rains and thunderstorms with lightning activity from September to April each year. Sometimes this is accompanied by heavy hail fall that further increases the possibility of various kinds of incidents".

Councillor Sun said that as Public Safety launches its Summer Safety Campaign which focuses on water, pedestrian, road and fire safety heading towards the festive season, "we particularly want to raise awareness of the constant danger of children drowning when attempting to cross roads, bridges or shortcuts that they normally use but become fast flowing rivers during heavy rainfall".

He also said that during this drought period people would likely swim more to get some relief from the heat but should always be vigilant especially with children because toddlers could drown even in a bucket of water. The City does offer free swimming lessons at most municipal pools and teaches safety at BeSafe Centres.

Joburg Emergency Services advises the following:

• If caught in the open during a thunderstorm, immediately seek shelter in a building.

• Avoid hilltops and do not shelter under lone trees or isolated sheds.

• Trees are relatively safe, but stay away from tree trunks and branches.

• Keep a reasonably safe distance from metal fences, telephone or power lines and steel structures such as pylons and windmills.

• Do not touch metal fences during a storm as these can be lethal.

• Spend less of your time outdoors, especially when it is overcast.

• If you live in a thatched building, make sure that a lightning conductor is erected close to the building

• Stay indoors during a thunderstorm and if you are traveling, remain in the vehicle or caravan.

• When on any type of open vehicle, tractor, bicycle or motorbike, seek shelter and maintain a low profile until the storm is over.

• When indoors, stay away from windows, do not hold any metal object or use any electrical appliances where possible. Preferably unplug all electrical appliances if possible.

• Do not use the telephone.

• Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.

• Do not attempt to cross flooded roads or bridges even by car

• Make sure that animals or pets are moved out of danger

Johannesburg remains critically aware of the impact of disasters and is committed to maintaining a vigilant state of disaster preparedness through research, adequate resources, training and response via an excellent and effective Level 1 disaster management plan.

The Joburg 2040 Strategy states that although Johannesburg has largely remained exempt from natural disasters, it will face increasing changes to weather patterns in the future. In line with becoming a resilient and sustainable City, it is developing the capability to generate a Level 2 disaster risk management plan.

Safety is our responsibility and the number to call is 10177 for any emergency.

Issued on behalf of Councillor Michael Sun

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety

By

Virgil James

Spokesperson

City of Johannesburg

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