Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 20th 2013 Contents A37
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Better be ready
Are you ready for aflood?
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
Floods are the leading cause of
disaster-related death in the
Caribbean, but since most can be
forecast, you should have time to
prepare. Your Red Cross urges you
to get ready. There are simple
steps you can take to help protect
your family from a flood.
Know your area's flood risk. If
unsure, call your Red Cross or
Emergency Management Agency.
If you are in a risk area, investigate
the feasibility of flood insurance.
Know the location of the main elec-
trical breaker and the gas and water
valves in your home and ensure you
have a clear path to easily access
them so that you can shut them off
When a Flood
Warning is issued:
Monitor the radio for weather
updates and evacuate immediately if
you are told to do so.
Move your furniture and valuables to
higher floors of your home or place
them high if possible.
Bring in all loose items from outside,
like garbage cans and yard furniture
for safe keeping.
Turn off the main electrical switch
and other utilities.
Place important documents and
valuables in plastic and store them
in a safe place.
Flood water dangers:
Do not walk through flowing water.
Just six inches of moving water can
knock you off your feet.
Never attempt to cross a swollen
stream, river or gully by foot or
vehicle. The force of these water-
ways can have deadly consequences.
If your vehicle stalls in rising water,
abandon it immediately and climb to
higher ground. A mere two feet of
water can float a large vehicle, even
After a flood:
Clean and dry everything water-
soaked. Flood waters can pick up
sewerage and chemicals from roads,
farms and factories. Spoiled food
and flooded medicines are health
hazards. When in doubt, throw them
Check appliances and motors for
damage and do not use them until
they have been cleaned and dried.
Watch out for wild animals. Snakes
and centipedes that have been
flooded out of their homes may seek
shelter in yours. Use a pole or a
stick to poke and turn items over
and scare them away.
If your home was seriously affected
by the floods and you suspect your
electrical wiring may have been
damaged, have it checked by a quali-
fied person before turning on the
main electrical switch.
Punch holes in all containers left
outside to prevent water from set-
tling and these from becoming
breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Purify water before using. Use chlo-
rine bleach or water purifying
tablets. Boil tap water for ten min-
T&T Red Cross Society
OAXACA---Members of the newest police force in
the colonial city of Oaxaca, Mexico, can't hear or
A group called the Angels of Silence operates the
city's surveillance cameras to look for crimes being
committed on its streets.
Cynthia Zepeda, director of Oaxaca state's emer-
gency services, said the officers have a highly devel-
oped visual sense and are not easily distracted.
"They allow us to notice situations that maybe a
person who doesn't have that disability wouldn't
notice. They read lips and can perceive suspicious
movements in people," Zepeda said.
Oaxaca state governor Gabino Cue decided to
recruit the officers to make his government more
inclusive of people with disabilities.
Soon, the 20 officers were in charge of monitoring
the city's 200 surveillance cameras day and night.
When the officers notice something suspicious,
they communicate it to their interpreters who then
talk to police dispatchers.
Oaxaca is the first city in Mexico to recruit officers
who can't speak or hear as part of a pilot programme,
said Ignacio Villalobos Carranza, spokesman for the
city's Public Safety Department.
"There have been people from England, from the
Arab Emirates, from Germany, from Argentina who
have approached us because they want to know how
our system works," Villalobos added.(AP)
Deaf police unit
gets job to
ANTWERP---An explosion tore
through an oil refinery in Belgium's
busiest port yesterday, killing two peo-
ple and partially closing down oper-
ations, company officials said.
The identity of victims was not
immediately released, but local media
accounts said they were contract work-
ers. The Gazet van Antwerpen news-
paper said they had been called to the
Total refinery to fix a steam turbine
After the blast, the refinery was evac-
uated and partially shut down, said
Hilde Luystermans, director of Total
Belgium. Total officials declined to com-
ment on the explosion's possible cause,
but said there was no risk to the envi-
ronment or the refinery's neighbours.
Belgian media said the refinery in
northern Antwerp can produce more
than 17 million tons of gasoline, diesel
fuel and kerosene yearly, and is Europe's
third largest. (AP)
2 killed in blast at
Firemen and rescue personnel stand outside the
Total refinery in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium,
yesterday. An explosion at the refinery, Europe's
second largest port, killed two people. AP PHOTO
GEORGETOWN---The South American country
of Guyana says it is forbidding imports of plastic
foam containers, starting in June. That amounts
to a virtual ban since there are no domestic pro-
Natural Resources Minister Robert Persaud says
importers have a seven-month grace period to
switch to alternative containers, such as cardboard.
Guyana has been considering a ban for several
years because plastic foam boxes have clogged
drainage systems, contributing to deadly floods.
Several US cities and counties have either banned
or considered banning plastic foam containers.
Guyana to ban
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