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City devises plan to save lives during flooding Print E-mail
20 March 2017

The City of Johannesburg has developed a set of proactive measures in a bid to prevent fatalities during flooding.

The move comes in the wake of the tragic loss of several lives – including that of three-month-old Everlate Chauke of Alexandra – and the displacement of hundreds of families during heavy flooding in Johannesburg late last year.

The precautionary measures the City’s Emergency Management Services (EMS) has put together include:

• Monitoring of areas such as low-level bridges and dangerous river crossings;

• Monitoring of the South African Weather Service’s warnings and reports of severe weather conditions – including potential flooding – on television and radio stations;
• Making sure you don’t wait until you see rising water before taking action;

• Getting out of low-lying areas as quickly as possible;

• Avoiding driving through flooded roadways;

• Leaving an area quickly when asked to do so;

• Identifying alternative travel routes that are not prone to flooding; and

• Making sure you don’t return to flooded areas until authorities have indicated it is safe to do so.

EMS spokesman Robert Mulaudzi says in line with one of the new administration’s nine key priorities – being a responsive government that puts the needs of the residents first – the City has committed itself to educating, advising and encouraging residents on how to be safe in such situations, whether at home, on the road, in the workplace or in flood-prone areas.

Mulaudzi says it is very important to take preventative measures, such as the ones listed above. “Nothing beats planning and being prepared for any situation,” he says.

The EMS has also identified and mapped flood-prone areas and put together a firm Disaster Management Strategy in place.

“These high-risk areas are Kliprivier, Klipspruit, Kliptown, Meadowlands, Dobsonville and along Jukskei River. We’ve developed mitigating plans that include implementation tactics that proactively address hot spots,” said Mulaudzi.

He says the City wants a zero death toll during floods. “Proactively, this is what we want. We want to build communities that are resilient and can deal with emergencies. We can do that by means of educating them. We are happy that our public education efforts are yielding results,” says Mulaudzi.

The City has in the past spent a lot of money helping residents rebuild their lives after they were displaced by floods during which they had their homes destroyed and had also lost their valuables.

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Last Updated on 20 March 2017