As sandstorms make their way to Kuwait this week, these 6 tips will help you through them without the need to panic
23 September 2018| Last updated on 27 December 2018
Living in the gulf comes with a price – hot weather all year long and the possibility of a sandstorm is a reoccurring likeliness in the region.
When wind hits the deserts of the gulf, they carry with them large amounts of sand creating sandstorms all over the region – and at times it’s almost non-visible for residents in the region.
A fairly large sandstorm made its way to Kuwait on Saturday that had previously been in Iraq – the sandstorm neared the Abdali border area of Kuwait.
It created very low visibility and is likely to increase the chances of rain hitting the country in the upcoming days. And as the sandstorms intensity increases, the Ministry in Kuwait has advised residents to take caution when maneuvering around the country.
The poor weather conditions will hit some areas of Kuwait harsher than others depending on how exposed they are to the desert area – increasing dust and sad and decreasing visibility.
What happens during a sandstorm?
Areas located around exposed sand are at larger risk of sandstorms – a sandstorm occurs when high amounts of strong winds occur in deserts.
The wind ends up carrying large amounts of sand with them from the ground and pushing them in the direction of the wind’s path. These winds engulf some areas with sand clouds, making the visibility in the area very low and at times, very warm.
And while sandstorms can’t kill you, consequences of a large amount of sand and low visibility can. So here are 6 things you can do to keep yourself safe in the case of a sandstorm.
Take caution when driving
If you find yourself driving when a sandstorm suddenly appears on your path, it is not advised to continue driving as the visibility of the roads will start to decrease.
And because of this, you cannot anticipate whatever might be in front of you – a tree, a car, a person or a dead end.
Therefore, you should immediately check the traffic around your car and begin to slow down as soon as possible. Then park on the side and switch your air conditioning to circulate inside your car to avoid bringing in the sand from outside and wait for it to pass.
Cover your nose and mouth
This is especially important to those who suffer from any kind of asthma or respiratory problems – when a sandstorm hits, the sandy and unfiltered air around you will make it hard to breathe and might irritate your throat and lungs.
Wear a respirator mask or opt for a piece of cloth to wrap around your nose and mouth – moisten the cloth a little before you place it around your face. You can also apply some petroleum jelly to the inside of your nostrils to prevent any dryness.
Protect your eyes
Being out in the open with no protection for your eyes might cause them to get irritated and make it harder for you to see. Attempt to wear goggles or sunglasses to minimalize the dust and increase your visibility of what’s around you.
The best way to beat a sandstorm is to wait it out. Stay indoors until the weather conditions clear up and only leave your house if need be.
Staying inside a shelter will limit any unexpected dangers that might occur.
If you’ve already heard of a sandstorm making its way to your city then it’s good to start preparations early. Make sure you have enough water for you and food just in case the storm stay around longer than expected.
As the sandstorm makes its way around, the areas might appear dull and ominous looking. However, there is no need to panic – sandstorms come and go so it’s just a matter of waiting for it to pass.
Keep an ear open for any advice coming from your local authority centres as they will keep you updated on the storm’s duration and extreme areas to take caution from visiting.