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National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre (Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Environment and Sustainable Development)

Cyclone

Note:
(i) The following advice is based upon best available information. However, all emergency situations are fluid and may produce unexpected events. The priority in emergency situations is to protect yourself and your family. These advisory pages are intended only as guidance to help you prepare. In the event of facing immediate danger, protecting yourself and your family is always the first priority.
(ii) Lists provided for emergency and evacuation kits are not exhaustive and will depend upon the circumstances of the individual(s). 
Mauritius is prone to cyclones during the summer months. The cyclone season covers the period between 1 November and 15 May.
 
Before the cyclone season
·         Check that the walls, roof and eaves of your home are secure and able to withstand cyclone gusts.
·         Trim tree tops and branches well clear of your home, telephone and power lines.
·         Consider fitting shutters, or metal screens, to all glass areas.
·         Clear your property of loose material that could blow about and possibly cause injury or damage during extreme winds.
·         In case of a storm surge/tide warning, or other flooding, know your nearest safe high ground and the safest access route to it.
·         Keep a list of emergency phone numbers on display and programmed into your mobile telephone.
·         Check with neighbours, especially if recent arrivals or in need of special assistance, to make sure they are prepared.
·         Identify secure places for your vehicle and your boat.
·         Be acquainted with the nearest cyclone emergency centres and the best way to get there.
·         Prepare an       emergency Kit
 
Cyclone warnings are disseminated over the radio and TV. During cyclone season it is advised to follow regular weather forecasts and advisories from the Mauritius Meterological Service.
 
Mauritius is prone to cyclones during the summer months. The cyclone season covers the period between 1 November and 15 May.
 
The Cyclone Warning System and associated advice is as follows:
When a Cyclone Class I warning is issued
Issued 36 to 48 hours before Mauritius or Rodrigues is likely to be affected by gusts reaching 120 km/h.
 
·         Check your property for any loose material and tie down (or fill with water) all large, relatively light items such as boats and rubbish bins.
·         Fill vehicles' fuel tanks. Check your      emergency/evacuation kit and fill water containers.
·         Ensure household members know which is the strongest part of the house and what to do in the event of a cyclone warning or an evacuation.
·         Tune to your local radio/TV for further information and warnings.
·         Check that neighbours are aware of the situation and are preparing.
·         Make sure your emergency kit is ready.
·         Monitor cyclone bulletins on Radio/TV.
·         Prepare to secure windows and doors with shutters or shields.
 
 
 
When a Cyclone Class II warning is issued
Issued so as to allow, as far as practicable, 12 hours before the occurrence of gusts of 120 kilometers (km) per hour.
 
·      If requested by local authorities, collect children from school or childcare centre and go home.
·      Park vehicles under solid shelter (hand brake on and in gear).
·      Put wooden or plastic outdoor furniture in a secure area or inside your home with other loose items that could blow about and cause damage.
·      Prepare an      emergency/evacuation kit including items you will need to carry with you if leaving your home. Large/heavy valuables could be protected in a strong cupboard.
·      Remain indoors (with your pets). Stay tuned to your local radio/TV for further information.
·      Verify that your     emergency/evacuation kit contains all essential items.
·      Store sufficient amount of drinking water.
·      Continue to monitor cyclone bulletins on Radio/TV.
 
When a Cyclone Class III warning is issued
Issued so as to allow, as far as practicable, 6 hours before the occurrence of gusts of 120 kilometers (km) per hour.
 
·         Complete all preparatory measures.
·         Fix shutters or board-up or put masking tape on windows.
·         Secure doors and windows. Draw curtains.
·         Store loose articles.
·         Avoid areas prone to storm surges and flooding.
·         Shelter domestic animals.
·         Avoid going outside.
·         Monitor cyclone bulletins on Radio/TV.
·         Those in insecure dwellings, move as early as possible to emergency shelters with your evacuation kits.
·         If evacuating:
o    wear strong shoes (not flip-flops) and tough water-proof clothing for protection
o    turn off gas, electricity and water
o    inform neighbours & family members where you are going
o    take your list of emergency telephone numbers
·         On your way to the emergency shelter or identified safe area, take all necessary precautions:  Stay clear of the sea, flooded areas, large trees, damaged power lines found on the ground and streams.
 
When a Cyclone Class IV warning is issued
Gusts of 120 km/h or more are occurring
 
·         Stay inside. Seek shelter in the strongest part of the house. Keep emergency kit with you.
·         Disconnect all electrical appliances.
·         Listen attentively to cyclone bulletins and advice on the Radio / TV.
·         If the house starts to suffer serious damage, protect yourself with mattress, rugs or blankets.
·         If you are driving, immediately stop in a safe place (handbrake on and in gear) - well away from the sea and clear of trees, power lines and streams. Stay in the vehicle.
 
Passage of the ‘EYE’ of the cyclone
Beware of the passage of the ‘EYE’ which brings a sudden calm. Do not assume that cyclonic conditions are over. The calm period is always followed by violent winds from the opposite direction. Wait for the termination message before assuming the cyclone has passed.
 
Termination
Issued when there is no longer any appreciable danger of gusts exceeding 120 km per hour.
 
 
After the cyclone
·         Do not leave your shelter until the official all-clear signals have been given.
·         Stay away from beaches and coastal areas where dangerous conditions are likely to still prevail.
·         Beware of fallen power lines, damaged buildings and trees and flooded water courses.
·         Do not consume fallen fruits.
·         Boil water for drinking purposes.
·         Clean yard and drain out stagnant water to prevent proliferation of  mosquitoes/diseases
·         Continue to listen to the radio/TV for official warnings and advice.
·         If you have to evacuate, or did so earlier, do not return until you are advised it is safe to do so
·         Beware of damaged power lines, bridges, buildings, trees.
·         Don’t enter flooded areas, and don’t drive through flooded areas. Find alternate routes. If an area is flooded it is unsafe to enter either on foot or in a vehicle. You have no way of knowing what is beneath the surface. (see specific     flood advice ‘Stay away from floodwater’ in the Flood section).
·         Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly and people with access and functional needs. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
·         Inspect utilities:
o    Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the     Police on 999 and/or the      Fire & Rescue Service on 115
o    Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Do not step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, instead call      CEB for advice on 130.
o    Check for sewage and water lines damage.
o    Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
o    Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
o    Avoid making unnecessary phone calls which could congest the telephone network and inhibit relief efforts.
 
NoteManagers of resorts, hotels, and other tourist areas should take steps to ensure visitors are aware of the dangers and know what to do in the event of a cyclone. Contact the Tourism Authority for further advice.
 
Where can I get information?
The main sources of cyclone information are radio and television stations. Because of the high chance of the power supply being disrupted, it is important to have a battery-operated radio to listen for cyclone advisories.
 
The NDRRMC also provides the latest watches, warnings and supporting information on this website.
 
Meteorological Office:  See the official Mauritius Meteorological Service site at: http://metservice.intnet.mu/
 
Emergency services:
 
SAMU