The cyclone Fani (pronounced as Foni) is the recent talk of the town. The name is given by Bangladesh. It is ready to damage the coastal areas of both Bangladesh and India. The word "foni" means "the hood of a snake". It is reported that Fani intensified to become a more severe and powerful cyclonic storm just like Hurricane. It may blow and destroy the coastal areas with wind speeds between 180 to 230 km/h. So, we can imagine how venomous the snake can be! If the snake is ready to bite, can we prevent its poisonous effects beforehand? Are we ready? Do we know the precautions of cyclone? A little knowledge can be even more dangerous in such situation. So, we must know the precautions of such deadly cyclone Fani before it attacks our areas.
In Odisha, there are 879 multipurpose cyclone shelter centres to prevent exaggerated loss of human and animal lives. In our country, after the severe loss caused by Sidr, Bangladesh government had initiated to construct almost 2000 shelter centres in 15 low-lying coastal districts. Since, Bangladesh has to remain under the threats of natural disasters, these shelter centres should always be ready.What happens when any kind of big storm approaches? The whole weather becomes depressed. Nature is like human beings. Imagine, how would you feel or act and react when you are depressed? First of all, you do not talk much. You do not walk or move much. Your mind becomes the storehouse of enormous rancour and rage. Then suddenly if you are motivated a little bit, you outburst. But if you cry beforehand, you are less likely to create a scene. A cyclonic storm is also like that. When the nature becomes depressed, the green leaves will not dance. The dry leaves will not create any harmonic music. The wind will not blow to blow your heart. You will understand that it is time for nature to outburst in anger. If rain comes, the situation will be a little under control. Otherwise, the storm can be really devastating. So, never take a depressed weather for granted. Depression is a prior sign to a major hazard.
If you are alerted by radio, television or online news, keep your internet data on then. Keep yourself updated and keep on updating the people around you. It may take mere seconds for number 4 alert to become number 10. So, keep your eyes and ears open. It will be very risky for anyone to go out in a stormy weather. So, remain inside the safer place until you are authentically and officially informed to go out. But if you are already wandering around outside, you must look for the safest place. Hide yourself until the weather acts normal.
If you are thinking of remaining inside your house, make sure that your living place is architecturally safe. If the roof is tin-made, you must get out with your family members and reach the nearby shelter centre as soon as possible. But if you live in an apartment, you can remain inside your own place by following below mentioned precautions.
Make sure all the electrical lines and electronic devices are turned off. It is better if you turn the main switch off. The switch of your gas and water lines should be turned off. Unplug all the appliances. Keep your emergency kits and medicines close to you. Comfort your children and the younger family members. Keep all the doors and windows closed. No matter what do not open a little bit of the glass of the window just to see how the storm may look. It looks horrible! Finally, go to the strongest and safest corner of your house. And stay united. If it is required, put on proper dress and shoe so that you can leave the unsafe place at once.
It is also important to keep dry food at home. Puffed rice (popularly known as muri), dry cakes, biscuits, pure and clean drinking water, and fruits should be kept in your house. Cyclonic storms have very bad impact on water and foods afterwards. This is why, you must be fully well equipped with food and drinking water. Since you are getting alerts, I will suggest that you should also buy other necessary food items, because after a cyclone, the prices of almost every product increase. Get everything, which you need to survive, ready beforehand. And remember your creator (whichever religion you follow) and seek forgiveness.
After the cyclone is over, do not forget to boil water. Never try to go and sightsee the damaged areas. Many people may become homeless and foodless. Help them with food and shelter as much as you can. In such situation, people need helping hands. Our collective effort can lessen our damage effectively and efficiently.The writer is a Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature, Premier University Chittagong