How To Prepare and Survive a Tropical Cyclone
Cyclones are often underestimated. By the time you realize the damage that’s being done over its duration, it’s too late.
Are you confident that you know exactly what to do before, during, and after a cyclone? This disaster is worth taking the extra time to make sure you’re prepared ahead of time.
In this survival guide, you’re going to learn how to prepare for and survive a tropical cyclone disaster. You’ll see what to do beforehand so you’ll be prepared, what to do during the event to be as safe as possible, and what to do afterward.
Like with everything we talk about, it starts with preparation.
How to Prepare
Cyclones can cause catastrophic damage to property, ecosystems, and cause many fatalities if not properly prepared for. Preparing for a cyclone has become easier through the help of scientific research to learn the patterns and trends of cyclones. These patterns can be used to predict future storms giving residents the time to prepare.
When preparing for a cyclone it is important to know what a cyclone is, how to stay safe before, during, and after a cyclone, and what to have readily available in case of an emergency. Knowing these important facts can be a key to surviving a cyclone.
What Are Cyclones?
In order to prepare for something, you need to know everything you can about them.
Cyclones are a natural phenomenon that occurs in the South Pacific region of the world. The winds of a cyclone rotate clockwise and can be accompanied by thunderstorms, flooding, and strong winds.
There are three major types of cyclones:
- Tropical Depressions
- Extratropical Cyclones
The weakest of the bunch. Tropical cyclones have winds of at least 39 mph, thunderstorms, and form of the warm water in the ocean.
Extratropical cyclones are formed from western winds outside of the tropical region. The extratropical cyclone has a region that has different temperatures known as a front. These fronts are common characteristics of extratropical cyclones.
Yes, tornadoes are classified as being a cyclone.
Tornadoes are the final form of cyclones. Rotating columns of air that form during thunderstorms and spiral downward to the ground. These tornadoes have no course of direction and are accompanied by strong winds and speed.
How To Keep Safe
There are specific things to do that will give you the highest chance of staying safe.
What Should You Do to Keep Safe During a Cyclone?
Many weather experts have learned to predict the patterns of cyclones and determine when the storm will hit. Through the research of past cyclones, there are many known methods of staying safe during a cyclone. Experts have devised a list of instructions to follow during all stages of a cyclone.
When officials warn there is a chance of a cyclone happening;
- Listen to local broadcasting services to monitor the situation.
- Inform people in the household where emergency supplies are and where to locate them in the house.
- Secure any property like outdoor furniture, windows, and vehicles.
- Remain indoors with any children and pets.
- Prepare your emergency bags.
When an evacuation order is in place before the cyclone hits;
- Determine where you plan to relocate too.
- Put any necessities inside your vehicles like emergency bags and bedding.
- Shut off electricity in your home and lock the doors before leaving.
- Make sure all children and pets are secured safely in the car.
What to do During the cyclone;
- Stay indoors and away from any windows waiting for official clearance before going outdoors.
- Keep soft items like bedding, mattresses, and pillows near to use as a cover in case the building is damaged.
- Listen to local broadcasting stations to receive updates about the storm and from officials.
- Have any emergency supplies at hand in case of an evacuation.
After a cyclone has happened;
- Wait indoors until an official has advised that it is safe.
- Beware of downed power lines, gas leaks, debris, and flooding.
- Do not return to the affected area if the evacuation order is still in place.
- Listen to local broadcasting services for official updates or warnings.
What Should You Keep in an Emergency Bag?
Having an emergency bag readily available during a time of crisis can help prevent panic. The supplies in a bag differ depending on the emergency, but emergency bags for a cyclone need to contain these essentials for every member of the family.
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food
- First aid kit
- Battery-powered radio
- Personal Hygiene necessities
- Utility Knife
- Closed-toed shoes
- Change of clothing
- Mobile phone
After the cyclone has passed the damage may be too extensive to continue to live at your home. Other important items that may be needed for relief efforts should be stored in water-proof packing in your emergency bag.
- Identification documents (i.e. Driver’s licenses, birth certificates, insurance documents, etc.)
- Property Deeds (i.e. Vehicle registration, rental lease, the deed to your home, etc.)
- Prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medication
- List of emergency contacts
- Spare batteries
- Battery Powered Chargers
- Pet supplies
When packing for an emergency it is best to have a bag filled with immediate needs, something that can hold you over for a day to two. The second bag should contain necessities that may be needed in the future or for receiving relief efforts.
After the winds stop howling and the dust settles, what should you do after the disaster blows through your area leaving massive debris, damage, and destruction? What Relief Efforts Happen After a Cyclone?
After the cyclone is over the damage needs to be assessed. Waiting until officials advise it is safe to go outside is recommended as there may be damaged power lines and gas leaks. Officials may communicate through the radio or relief workers to reach the residents.
When the cyclone is over and it is safe to be outside relief efforts may begin. Relief efforts can assist those affected by the cyclone in finding temporary living situations, access to food, water, and clean clothing, as well as providing financial relief.
Cyclones that are not as damaging to the area may only need relief efforts for clearing any debris. Residents can almost immediately return home even as they clean up efforts are underway. Minor property damage may also be present and require repairs.
Cyclones that are damaging may require more extensive relief efforts. Property can be destroyed and the area can be covered in debris. Residents may not return to the area in cases of severely damaging cyclones. Relief efforts can be utilized to find temporary accommodations for those who cannot return home as well as cleaning up the debris.
Listening for weather updates on local broadcasting services, keeping an emergency bag ready, and staying indoors are all recommended safety measures to take when preparing for a cyclone.
The information presented in this article on what to have in an emergency bag and what steps to take during the stages of a cyclone can help any person prepare for the storm, but does not replace the opinion of an expert. Expert advice should be the first source of information to use when preparing for and surviving a cyclone.
Cyclones vs Hurricanes vs Typhoons
You may be wondering what the difference between cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons are. Fortunately, the answer is short and sweet.
The difference between a typhoon and a hurricane is where the storm occurs. They are both classified as tropical cyclones.
Hurricanes are tropical storms that form over the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific.
Typhoons form over the Northeast Pacific Ocean.
Cyclones are formed over the Indian Ocean and South Pacific.
A tropical typhoon becomes classified as a hurricane once it’s wind speeds reaches a maximum of 74 miles per hour.
These storms are powerful and are worth learning about so you can prepare ahead of time.
Watch for warnings and alerts for them so you can have the most amount of time to respond appropriately.
If you liked this guide, read the Volcano Survival Guide on how to prepare and survive a volcanic eruption. Also, be sure to visit the complete list of survival guides in the disaster preparedness guide.
Further Reading on Cyclone Survival: