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Changing scenarios

Fred Wesley
Thursday, March 12, 2015

AS Fiji braces for rainy weather brought on by Tropical Cyclone Pam, the statement by the Water Safety Council of Fiji of floods and death will force a reality check.

It says statistically, Fiji can expect one casualty from expected floodwaters Pam will bring.

And this expected casualty is likely to be an unsupervised toddler who may enter a waterway or a younger school aged child playing with friends in flooded waters who then gets sucked into a drain.

That's not a pleasant thought. It's actually frightening.

And given the grim outlook, and emphasis on death, emotions will obviously be pricked.

The bottom line though is what can we do to alleviate the possibility of this scenario?

How do you deal with such a revelation?

To consider the likelihood of such an event happening is not far-fetched either.

It is definitely against the grain and will inch out many questions, the line of thought that is. Perhaps the council is merely voicing an unspoken thought. But then again, there is the issue of statistics and cyclones and floods.

If it can stimulate growth in safety standards then there is hope though.

The council, again with the aid of statistics, points out the likelihood of the victim being an older school aged person who goes swimming and bridge jumping into the nearest river where they will get carried away by a strong current or a man who attempts to cross a flooded river and drowns.

These "likelihoods" are based on previous floodwater casualties.

With this in mind the council is calling on people to stay out of the water and this includes flooded rivers, fishing areas or for the purpose of diving, bathing, washing, sailing, surfing or driving through floodwaters and during heavy downpour and strong winds.

The council is also calling on people to be mindful of what the loss of a single life will mean.

For starters the revelation goes against the norm. Some will consider it negative and news reeked with doom and gloom.

But therein lies the fact that we can be the catalyst for change, and on this issue, we can prevent such a scenario happening.

It pays to be prepared. It pays for us to heed safety advice and it pays for us to be mindful of what we should do to stay safe with our loved ones.

When accidents happen, many other scenarios will come into play from those who will be sent out on a rescue mission, to those who will be tasked with the job of ensuring people strictly adhere to safety regulations.

We have before us a rather intimidating picture of rainy weather that has the potential to force flash floods. Forget about being complacent. Let's do the right thing and prepare to stay safe.

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