Chennai and its neighboring regions were battling havoc of mammoth proportions as the record-breaking rainfall led to the worst flood that Tamil Nadu witnessed in the last 100 years, resulting in piling losses in the form of lives, livelihood, and homes. As on 10th December 2015, more than 400 people had lost their lives and around 18 lakh people were displaced. Estimated damages and losses of over ₹ 20,000-100,000 crore of were also reported.
While calamities like this can be ravaging and unpreventable, preparing for it is possible. Here are some ways you can take control in dire situations and minimize your damage:
Monitor your surroundings
Global warming and increasing pollution levels have resulted in climatic conditions going for a toss across the globe. Calamities such as typhoons, storms, floods, and hurricanes are increasingly becoming commonplace. At an individual level, the best method to stay protected is to be alert, update yourself through local weather forecasts on the news, radio etc., to ensure you are not caught unawares.
Heed the warning from your local authority and get away from low-lying or affected regions to higher or safer ground during disasters or crises.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) operates across the country and handles situations related to disaster management, and organizes neighborhood response team to coordinate faster evacuation processes. Alternatively, chalk out an escape plan for your family for such emergencies.
With major calamities like floods, some of the first susceptible aspects are electrical grids and automated systems. In case of Chennai, ATMs and banks were out of cash and were shut down due to rising water levels. While plastic cash is convenient, it is futile during such a breakdown. Although most of us do not keep cash in hand, it is useful to have it locked away for emergency.
It is wise thinking to store supplies for crisis, especially stocking up on non-perishable items. During Chennai floods, due to shortage, necessities such as drinking water, milk, vegetables etc. were sold at almost five times their actual prices. Such situations can be averted by stocking up canned rations and essential medicines.
Most home buyers and owners are of the opinion that home insurance can be ignored, which is reinstated by the low penetration of home insurance products in India. For most home buyers, a house is a major lifetime investment. However, they are cynical about buying an insurance to protect this investment.
While a home insurance does not prevent damage due to calamities, it helps you to recover from such damage. In case of an unfortunate damage, you receive certain amount of sum insured as per your policy that will help in your rebuilding efforts. Having insurance for your home is a good fallback, especially if such calamities are common in your region. The significance of this is felt at times like these, just as people are evaluating the extent of property loss.