Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cyclone Preparedness

      This was forwarded to me by three diferent people who work for PDO, and I thought it was worth sharing. I think it's worth noting that PDO deserves credit for disseminating clear, concise, and usefull information at a time when it's needed most. It's one of the many good services that PDO provides for it's staff and the community at large, the next time you see a pdo employee somewhere, tell them thank you.

      TO ALL PDO
      STAFF

      There is still uncertainty around the severity of the storm which is expected to arrive in Muscat during the night of 5 June, but it is a good idea to be prepared – without over-reacting.

      These recommendations are designed to cope with the worst storms so please apply them to your situation appropriately.


      CYCLONE
      PREPAREDNESS

      Before
      the storm arrives:

      Assemble a Disaster Supplies
      Kit Including the Following Items:

        1. First aid kit and essential medications.


        2. Canned food and can opener.


        3. At least three gallons of water per person.


        4. Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding
        or sleeping bags.


        5. Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra
        batteries.


        6. Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled
        family members.


      Prepare a Personal Evacuation
      Plan


      1. Identify ahead of time where you could go if
      you are told to evacuate. Choose several places--a friend's home, a
      hotel, or a sheltered place.

      2. Keep handy the telephone numbers of these places
      as well as a road map of your locality. You may need to take alternative
      or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged.

      3. Listen to local radio or TV stations for evacuation
      instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take these
      items with you when evacuating:

          a. Prescription medications and medical supplies;

          b. Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows

          c. Bottled water, battery-operated radio and extra
          batteries, first aid kit, flashlight

          d. Car keys and maps

          e. Documents, including driver’s license, proof
          of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates,tax records, etc.


      You should evacuate under the
      following conditions:


        1. If you are directed by local authorities or
        through official PDO communication. Be sure to follow their instructions.


        2. If you live or work in a temporary structure—such
        shelters are particularly hazardous during cyclones no matter how well
        fastened to the ground.

      During a Cyclone


      You should:

      1. Listen to the radio or TV for information.

      2. Secure your home, close shutters, and secure
      outdoor objects or bring them indoors.

      3. Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest
      setting and keep its doors closed.

      4. Turn off propane tanks. Avoid using the phone,
      except for serious emergencies.

      5. Secure your boat if time permits.

      6. Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes
      such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large
      containers with water.

      7. STAY OUT OF AND AWAY FROM WADIS.
      Cyclones generate enormous amounts of rain in very short times. The
      only place for the water to go is down the wadis; they will fill quickly,
      and flow ferociously fast. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around
      and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are
      rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.

      8. Do not go out “sightseeing”
      if the storm suddenly seems to abate. Be aware that the calm "eye"
      is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will
      happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite
      direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the
      first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds.

      9. You will probably lose electrical power. That is almost a given. If this
      happens:

          a. Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting.
          Never use candles!


          b. Turn off electrical equipment you were using
          when the power went out.


          c. Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.


          d. Do not run a generator inside a home.


          e. Assemble essential supplies, including:

          i. Flashlight


            ii. Batteries


            iii. Portable radio


            iv. at least one gallon of water


            v. a small supply of food.


            vi. Due to the extreme risk of fire, do not use
            candles during a power outage.


      If you feel you are in danger:

      Go to a safe room (windowless
      room near the centre of the house). If you do not have one, follow these
      guidelines:

        1. Stay indoors during the cyclone and away from
        windows and glass doors.


        2. Close all interior doors—secure and brace
        external doors.


        3. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be
        fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm - winds
        will pick up again.


        4. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet,
        or hallway on the lowest level.

      After
      a Cyclone:

      1. Listen to the media for regular updates.

      2. Inspect your home for water/wind damage
      before
      restoring electrical power.

      3. Do not make unnecessary demands on the emergency
      services.

      4. Inspect your vehicles for flood/impact damage;
      especially the undercarriage/brakes if your vehicle experience high
      water.

      5. BEWARE
      of displaced animals. Wadi dogs, cats, snakes and many potentially nasty
      insects will have had their living areas flood. They may seek refuge
      in your home, carport or even auto. Be very careful assessing storm
      damage and look carefully before lifting any storm debris; animals may
      lurk there.

      6. Do not touch wet switches, and beware of fallen
      power lines, treat them as if they are live.

      7. Do not drink water that could be contaminated.

      8. Stay at home, resist the urge to go sightseeing.

      9. Use common sense.



Issued by: PDO Corporate Emergency
Control Centre: 5 June 2007


(with thanks to Marty Leipzig)



6 comments:

Ryan Nadel said...

Hi 'Other Oman',

I came across your blog in my hunt for first hand reports of the situation in Oman. I am an editor at NowPublic.com, a network of citizen journalists, and I’d really like for you to contribute some photos and stories about the storm. Please check out the site (www.nowpublic.com) and if you are interested in contributing please contact me and I’ll give you some more information.

If you are able to get original first hand footage, either in photograph or video format, there is a possibility that the Associated Press would purchase the material from you. You can get in touch with me either via my email, rnadel(at)nowpublic(dot)com or by Skype at ryan.nadel.

Regards,
Ryan Nadel
Editor
NowPublic.com
‘The news is NowPublic’

Anonymous said...

I'm Marty Leipzig. I wrote the cited missive (I'm a PDO-ite...).

I've been living in Oman for the last 5 years after living and working around the world for the past 25 years.

I was West Houston Storm Warden a few dozen years back, and thought that I'd change the word "hurricane" to "cyclone", and see if that helped a bit.

Gonu was a bugger, for sure; but I hope that what I contributed helped some and maybe lessened the impact of a world-class storm on a world-class place.

Regards,
Marty

BuJ said...

Wow this is very useful information not just for Gonu but in general..

sorry for my ignorance but what's a PDO?

Anonymous said...

PDO = Petroleum Development Oman.

It's the state-owned/operated oil company here in the Sultanate

BuJ said...

thanks Anon for that.

Suburban said...

Marty,

Thank you so much for writing and distributing this. I hope you didn't mind my posting it.

Your suggestions made a potentially dangerous and scary situation into a managable event for which we were prepared. THe experience sucked, but we were ready for it, many thanks to you.

I only wish the authourities had distributed such clear, practical instructions.

Buj, THanks for dropping by.