Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 24th 2014 Contents A44
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 24, 2014
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
GAZA CITY---The United States announced signs of
progress in cease-fire talks yesterday, but prospects
for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian
families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the
death toll rose to more than 700 Palestinians and 34
Underscoring the challenges facing international
negotiators shuttling around the Middle East in a high-
profile bid to end the bloodshed, the leader of Hamas
insisted the Islamic militants would not relent until
their main demand of lifting an Egyptian-Israeli blockade
of the Gaza Strip is met.
On the ground, meanwhile, Israeli troops backed by
tanks and aerial drones clashed with Hamas fighters
armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles
on the outskirts of Khan Younis, killing at least eight
militants, according to a Palestinian health official.
Hundreds of people fled their homes as the battle
unfolded, flooding into the streets with what few belong-
ings they could carry, many with children in tow. They
said they were seeking shelter in nearby UN schools.
"The airplanes and airstrikes are all around us," said
Aziza Msabah, a resident of the city in the southern
Gaza Strip. "They are hitting the houses, which are
collapsing upon us."
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who met for the
second time this week with United Nations chief Ban
Ki-moon, flew to Israel on an Air Force jet, despite a
ban imposed a day earlier by the US Federal Aviation
Administration on commercial flights into Ben-Gurion
Airport because of Hamas rocket fire nearby. The FAA
extended the ban yesterday and many major European
carriers also cancelled more flights due to security con-
"We certainly have made steps forward," Kerry said
in Jerusalem, without elaborating. "There s still work
to be done."
Israel has insisted it must substantially curb the mil-
itary capabilities of the Islamic militant group that con-
trols Gaza---a position that appears to have gained sup-
port within the US administration---while Hamas has
demanded the lifting of a crippling Israeli and Egyptian
blockade on the impoverished coastal territory it has
ruled since 2007.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said in a televised
speech that the opening of the border crossings was
a red line.
"When it comes to the balance of power in this crisis
between us and Israel, they are the executioners, the
aggressors, the occupiers, the settlers, and we are the
true owners of the land," he said from his home-in-
exile in Doha, Qatar. "We will not accept anything but
the end of the siege."
The US, Israel and the European Union all consider
Hamas a terrorist organisation, though the UN does
not. Ban said he and Kerry were jointly lobbying officials
in the region to push Hamas and Israel to a cease-fire
as soon as possible.
White House deputy national security adviser Tony
Blinken said there must be a way forward that does
not involve Hamas having the ability to "rain down
rockets on Israeli civilians."
"One of the results, one would hope, of a cease-fire
would be some form of demilitarisation so that this
doesn t continue, doesn t repeat itself," Blinken said in
an interview with NPR. "That needs to be the end
The Hamas leader, however, rejected that idea. "Some
are talking under the table about disarming the resistance.
No one can take away the resistance s arms," Mashaal
He also dismissed Israel s assertion that it tries to
avoid civilian casualties but Hamas puts them in danger
by hiding weapons and fighters in civilian areas.
US officials have downplayed expectations for an
immediate, lasting truce between Israel and Hamas.
But Kerry said limited progress has been made. (AP)
Former US President Bill
Clinton greets conference
attendees as he leaves the
20th International Aids
Conference at The
Melbourne Convention and
Exhibition Centre yesterday
in Melbourne, Australia.
activists and health workers
due to attend the
conference were killed
enroute in the Malaysian
Airlines plane MH17 shot
down over Eastern Ukraine.
US pushes for
truce as Gaza
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