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What are weather warning levels and how to prepare for severe weather

File picture: Phando Jikelo

File picture: Phando Jikelo

Published Nov 28, 2021


VARIOUS parts of the country have experienced severe weather this week.

There were strong to gale-force south-easterly to easterly winds (70 to 80km/h) with gusts of between 90 and 100km/h.

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Earlier this week, a yellow level 4 warning was issued for coastal wind. There was also a yellow level 4 warning for interior wind.

But what do these warnings mean and how can we prepare ourselves for them?

When a green warning is issued, it means that no severe weather is expected.

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When a yellow warning is issued, it means members of the public are urged to be aware as there is a moderate risk of severe weather and a low risk of extreme weather. People are urged to remain alert and keep up with the latest weather forecasts.

When an amber weather warning is issued, this means there is a high risk of severe weather or a moderate risk of extreme weather occurring. People are encouraged to be prepared and take precaution when possible.

The red weather warning is the final warning. This means there is a high risk of extreme weather occurring. People are advised to be extra vigilant, and follow orders or advice given by authorities under all circumstances. You can also expect and be prepared for extra ordinary measures.

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How to prepare for severe weather

Be weather-ready and check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for severe weather. Stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.

It is also worth creating a plan that includes an emergency meeting place. Pick a safe room in your home in case there is an extreme weather event. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Of course, don’t forget your furry friends.

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Now that you are mentally prepared, prepare your home. Make sure to keep trees and branches near your home trimmed. If you have time before the severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors. It is also advised to move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.

If you are able, help your neighbours and nearest and dearest. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather and know what to do in an emergency.

How to help those in need when severe weather hits

While we are preparing and more or less comfortable when severe weather hits, the same cannot be said for society’s vulnerable.

Here a few places you can consider donating to help those who are unable to prepare themselves adequately for severe weather:

The Haven Night Shelter


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