Sunday, 16 December 2012

City geared for public holiday tomorrow

The City of Cape Town is gearing itself for a bumper Reconciliation public holiday tomorrow.

Today temperatures reached up to 29 degrees across Cape Town and the general public and visitors flocked to the City’s beaches and swimming pools.

The City’s admitted nearly 19,000 people at its 35 swimming pools.

At the 72 beaches along the 307 km of City’s coastline nearly 50,000 bathers were recorded; whilst another 4,000 people were recorded at 18 camping sites.

The forecasters predict another scorcher day for tomorrow [Monday, 16 December 2012] where temperatures will peak at 29 degrees.

The City’s law enforcement agencies, emergency and disaster management officials and volunteers will be out in full force to ensure the safety of the public.

The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre appeals to residents to drink enough water; stay in a cool place; cover your head; not throw cigarette butts out of motor vehicle windows that could lead to run-away fires and to not make fires that cannot be controlled.

Tourists visiting Cape Town that are not acclimatised to the heat, could suffer from swelling of their ankles, inflammation of the skin, sharp pains from water loss, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea and fainting.

The general public is urged to only braai in safe and designated areas and to extinguish braai fires completely before leaving; and to refrain from lighting campfires.

The fire danger warning for the Cape Metropole will be enforced for today and the general public are requested to exercise caution.

Residents and visitors are requested to adhere to the following safety tips on beaches:

· Swim only where there a lifeguards and where signs indicate that it is safe to do so

· Make sure that lifeguards can see you when you are in the water

· Do not swim where lifeguards are not present

· Always swim between the red and yellow flags. These indicate safe, supervised swimming areas. Areas outside these flags might conceal dangerous currents and tides. Only swim in areas where other people are present

· If you find yourself in trouble, raise your arm to attract the lifeguard’s attention. Try not to panic as this will tire you

· If you see someone else in trouble in the sea, alert the lifeguards or find help. Do not put your own life in danger as well

· Ensure that you protect your skin from exposure to the sun.

· Don’t drink alcohol before swimming or driving motor boats. The use of alcohol dulls the senses, slows the reactions and can lead to irresponsible behaviour

· Don’t dive from tidal pool walls – this can result in spinal injuries

· Do not take small or unstable boats out far from the shore in choppy water or bad weather

The City’s law enforcement agencies are ready to do their utmost to ensure a safe festive season for all road users. And appeal is made to motorists to be responsible and to comply with traffic laws as officers with be tough on offenders. Motorists are requested to observe the following road safety tips:

· It is important to be courteous, obey the rules of the road and treat other drivers as you would like to be treated in return.

· Do not drive in a state that could compromise your focus: don’t drink and drive and make sure you are well rested if you are embarking on a long distance journey. You can expect no sympathy from Traffic Services if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

· Know your route, so that you are aware of the roads and turnoffs that you need to take. If you miss your turnoff, continue until the next turnoff rather than swerving at the last minute or making a dangerous U-turn – something which has already led to many fatal accidents.

· Stay alert while you drive: switch on the radio or talk to your passengers.

· Cellphones: do not text and drive. Use a hands-free kit. It could save your life. If you are caught, your phone will be confiscated.

· Buckle up. Secure toddlers in baby or child seats and never leave a child or pet alone in a car.

· Very importantly, ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy.

Any emergency and/or distress call can be reported to the 107 emergency number from a Telkom line. Cellphone users need to dial 021 480 7700. The sooner you phone, the sooner help will arrive.


Issued by: Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town

Supplied by: Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, Head: Systems Integration, Special Projects and Disaster Operations, Disaster Risk Management Centre

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