Preventative measures 101

Back to OUTworld
20 February 2017
See what preventative measures you can take for heavy rain or floods and veldfires.

Scenario 1: Heavy rain or floods

Minimise damage to your vehicle

We strongly advise you to rather postpone your trip than risk getting caught in a storm or flooding. Then again, if you’re caught in a storm, rather look for a safe place to stop and wait for the storm to pass.

Please do look after your safety first – rather abandon your car if needs be – your insurance will recover your vehicle, assess the damage, and organise the repairs process as needed.  Also see our article on driving in heavy rain

Minimise damage to your home and contents

It’s important that you identify the weak points where floodwater can enter your home. Water can enter your home through gaps in the floor, air bricks on exposed walls, or even via drains and pipes (e.g. reverse flow causing water to back up and enter your home via your washing machine, toilet, or sink).

Preventative measures include:

  • Inspecting your storm water drainage before the rainy season.
  • Checking that your roof is well maintained.
  • Ensuring that your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris to ensure safe passage of water.

Long-term preventative measures include the following:

  • Raising fuse boxes, electrical sockets, wiring, TVs and electrical entertainment devices to 1.5m off the floor.
  • Installing non-return valves to pipes to allow water to only flow one way.
  • Opting for solid wood, stainless steel, or plastic materials instead of chipboard in your kitchen or bathroom.
  • Installing tiled flooring instead of fitted carpets.

Scenario 2: Veldfires

When it comes to protecting your home from veldfires, the main danger lies in the fact that the wind may be blowing embers and sparks which may enter your home through air vents, open windows or even through small gaps between the walls and the roof sheeting. As a preventative measure, you may want to install fine mesh over any vents and to seal off any gaps under the eaves.

When a veldfire approaches, you can do the following:

  • Wet the garden and exterior walls of your house, especially on the side of the approaching fire.
  • Seal gaps between the floor and doors by using wet towels.
  • If you need to evacuate, close all internal doos and windows.

Long-term preventative measures include:

  • Removing any inflammable and dry vegetation against pillars and under decks.
  • Removing all dead leaves and dry vegetation from the garden.Removing branches or trees that overhang buildings and prune lower branches.
  • Clearing leaves and debris from gutters.  
  • Building stone walls as a radiant heat shield. 
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