Cyclones are giant, spinning, whirlwind storms. In order for a cyclone to be identified as a cyclone, it must be travelling over 119 km per hour and it must have been formed over the ocean in a tropical region. These great storms are usually dangerous and can cause damage to everything in their path. A cyclone will often bring with it heavy rains that can cause flooding.
In order for a cyclone to form, the ocean waters need to be warm, at least 26°C. Above the warm ocean, water evaporates and forms clouds. If there is low air pressure where the clouds are formed, it pulls them in and they begin to rotate. It is the earth rotating and spinning on its axis that causes the cyclone’s clouds to rotate. Clouds will continue to form and begin spinning more.This is the stage when it can lose its momentum or develop into a mature cyclone. Even if it has developed into a mature cyclone, it can still grow in size and increase its wind speed. In order for it to be categorised as a cyclone, its average sustained wind speed needs to exceed 63 km per hour. To be classified as severe, the average sustained wind speed needs to exceed 118 km per hour. Once a cyclone arrives over land, its strength weakens and it begins to fade out. This is due to the lack of moisture and heat compared to the ocean over which it was formed. Being prepared for an emergency is the best way to stay safe. Prepare your home
* Check the condition of your roof and repair any loose tiles, eaves or roof screws.
* Ensure windows are fitted with shutters or metal screens.
* Trim any branches overhanging your house and clear gutters of leaves and debris.
* Stay updated on the latest cyclone information by following local media or other
sources of trustworthy information
* Decide how you will look after your pets if you cannot take them with you.
If you hear a watch or a warning you should check that your Emergency Survival Kit is complete and easily accessible
A survival Kit should contain :
* Battery-operated radio (with spare batteries)
* Torch (with spare batteries)
* Strong shoes, gumboots, leather gloves and overalls
* First aid kit and medications you need
* A change of clothes, toiletry and sanitary supplies
* Special needs for infants, the aged and people with disabilities
* Water in sealed containers – ten litres per person (for three days)
* Three days supply of canned food (plus can opener and utensils)
* Pet food, water and other animal needs
* Tent or tarpaulin, pillows and blankets (woollen and thermal)
* Mobile phone and charger
* Strong plastic bags (for clothing, valuables, documents, and photos)
* Spare car and house key
If an official evacuation order is issued then you and your family must leave your home immediately and seek a public shelter or shelter with friends or family who are further inland or on higher ground.
* Turn off all electricity, gas and water, unplug all appliances and lock your doors
* If you are driving when a cyclone hits, immediately park in an area that is
clear of trees, powerlines and water courses and stay inside your car.
* Stay listening to the radio if latest updates and instructions are being
provided. Stay calm.