WARDEN MESSAGE – CYCLONE INFORMATION FACT SHEET
Provided below is valuable information on emergency preparedness for cyclones. U.S. citizens are encouraged to review this information and to share it with family members in order to be prepared in the event of a serious cyclone.
CYCLONE WARNING CONDITIONS
The cyclone warning system for Mauritius is established by the Mauritian Meteorological Services. They range from Class 1 to Class 4 depending on the probability of the storm affecting Mauritius.
Class 1 is issued 36 – 48 hours before Mauritius is likely to be affected by a depression or a cyclone.
Class 2 is issued so as to allow 12 hours of daylight before the occurrence of gusts of 120 km/h.
Class 3 is issued in time to allow 6 hours of daylight before the advent of 120 km/h gusts.
Class 4 is issued when gusts of 120 km/h have occurred and are expected to continue.
Termination: There is no longer any appreciable danger of gusts exceeding 120 km/h.
The U.S. Embassy will close during cyclone class 3. You can stay abreast of the latest bulletin from the Mauritius Meteorological Service by calling the local number 8996.
The U.S. Embassy advises all U.S. Citizens living in and/or visiting Mauritius to take certain basic precautions in preparation for the storm and to monitor the radio for weather bulletin updates.
If you are living in Mauritius, please ensure that you have:
adequate supplies of food,
other essential supplies on hand such as supply of candles, matches, batteries for radio and flashlights
keep your car topped with gas, as the pumps at the station may not be working after the storm
It is not unusual for stores and shops to close before, during and after a cyclone.
Check your generators and make sure you have an adequate supply of fuel
Cut down any dead foliage and remove any debris around your home
Secure any items that could become dangerous (patio furniture, umbrellas, barbeques, plants, bikes, toys).
Put your car in the garage to protect it from falling objects.
Check batteries in storm shutter remote controls.
Have the tools and supplies on hand to secure your house (plywood, nails, shutters, etc.) Upper floors in high-rise buildings are at increased risk of windows being blown out due to increase wind.
Boil and filter extra quantities of water in case power is cut. Do not drink the water from the tap immediately after a cyclone; the water lines are often disturbed and therefore tainted.
If you are a tourist, talk to your hotel front desk to learn about the hotel’s emergency plan for a cyclone. Notify your family and friends of your whereabouts and your plans until the storm passes. Be sure to have an adequate supply of necessary prescriptions and medications on hand.
During the storm:
Do not go outside, flying debris is lethal
Do not watch the storm from beaches as storm surge, rip tides and rogue waves are hazardous
Stay inside in an interior room of your residence; choose a room with little or no windows that is located away from the exterior wall of the residence
Stay off your home/cell phone and radio. Keep all means of communication available for an emergency
If a member of your family sustains an injury during the storm, report the injury and degree of severity to the local authorities as soon as possible.
U.S. Citizens in Mauritius should monitor local radio, the National Weather Service, and local media to stay aware of any weather developments in their area. The U.S. Embassy will update the emergency message if new information becomes available. U.S. Citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Small craft operators should remain in port.
In the event you wish to leave the country, prior to the storm, due to medical reasons, please do so quickly as the airport may be close due to the storm.
In the unlikely event there is no electricity for a day or two and the roads are blocked or flooded, the Embassy will not be open to provide you with services. So please plan early, should you need to renew your passport for an emergency travel.
Vehicle Insurance Information
It is common belief that all vehicles may remain on the road until three hours after the posting of cyclone condition 3. This is incorrect and probably stems from the fact that most bus companies shut down operations approximately three hours after cyclone class III has been established. According to the Motor Vehicle Division of the Police Department, there are no regulations prohibiting the use of a motor vehicle during any cyclone warning signal. However, the Police Department has advised the Embassy that the use of a personal motor vehicle during a cyclone is strictly at the owner’s risk and any damage may not be covered by insurance.
It is highly recommended that you carry a “comprehensive” insurance policy on your vehicle. Driving during cyclones may be covered under a “comprehensive” policy; however personal injury or death to the driver is not covered. Also, passengers in your vehicle are also not covered unless the liability of the driver can be proven. For those vehicles which are insured with other local companies and overseas, it is strongly advised that you check the terms of the policy.
Note: for your safety and protection, do not drive under a Class 3 or 4 warning.
If you are residing in or traveling to Mauritius, please take the time to register your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy, Consulate, or Consular Agency to contact them in case of emergency. Those who are already registered are encouraged to update their registrations in the event their address, phone number, or e-mail address has changed.
The U.S. Embassy is located on the fourth floor of the Rogers House on John F. Kennedy Street in Port Louis, Mauritius, telephone (230) 202-4432; and the after-hours life-and-death emergency number is telephone no. 230-5-253-3641.