The vast majority of Zimbabweans live in the potential paths of cyclones. As the government of Zimbabwe noted in its warning about Cyclone Freddy which has since dissipated provinces like Manicaland, Mashonaland, Harare, Matabeleland and Bulawayo are all affected by cyclones and the accompanying hazards. In addition to the measures shared by the government, it is also important to note that there are steps you can take to cyclone-proof your house.
Zimbabwe might have dodged the worst of Cyclone Freddy but we are in the midst of cyclone season in Zimbabwe, it is important to highlight the significance of building cyclone-proof houses and properties. It is also important to note that cyclones remain a threat for the foreseeable future. Over the past few years, Zimbabwe has experienced a number of violent cyclones, leaving devastating effects on communities and their homes. To mitigate the impact of these cyclones, it is essential that we take necessary steps to ensure that our homes and properties are built to withstand such extreme weather conditions.
Cyclones are not a new phenomenon in Zimbabwe. In recent years, we have witnessed several destructive cyclones, including Idai, Chalane, Ana, Desmond, and most recently, Gombe. These cyclones have caused significant damage to infrastructure and have claimed many lives. The destruction caused by these storms is a clear indication that we need to be more prepared and proactive in our approach to building homes and properties.
Cyclone-proofing your home or property involves taking steps to ensure that it can withstand the strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding associated with cyclones. Here are some of the measures that can be taken to make your home or property cyclone proof:
When building a home or property, the location is critical. Choose an area that is less prone to flooding and landslides. Avoid areas that are close to rivers and streams, as they are more likely to experience flash floods during cyclones.
The design of your home or property should be cyclone-resistant. Ensure that the roof structure is strong enough to withstand strong winds, and the foundation is deep enough to prevent it from being washed away during heavy rains. Use reinforced concrete and steel to ensure that your home is stable and secure during a cyclone.
The roofing is one of the most vulnerable parts of a house during a cyclone. The roofing material should be strong and durable, and it should be installed properly. It is also important to ensure that the roofing is firmly anchored to the house to prevent it from being blown away during a cyclone.
Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are other weak points in a house during a cyclone. They should be made of strong and durable materials such as steel or aluminium, and they should be properly secured to the house. Install shutters to protect your windows from flying debris during a cyclone.
During a cyclone, heavy rains can cause flooding, which can damage your home or property. Ensure that your property has adequate drainage to prevent flooding. This can be achieved by installing gutters and downpipes and directing water away from the house.
Cyclone-proofing your home or property is critical in ensuring the safety and security of your family and belongings during cyclone season. By taking the necessary steps to cyclone proof your home or property, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage caused by these extreme weather events.
As we continue to experience cyclones in Zimbabwe, it is essential that we make a concerted effort to build homes and properties that can withstand these storms. With the right approach and materials, it is possible to build a cyclone proof house or property that can protect you and your loved ones from the devastating effects of these weather events.