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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Ways to Survive a Sandstorm - Be aware
Joanna James Joanna James
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Ways to Survive a Sandstorm - Be aware

A sandstorm or dust storm is something that can drive fear into anyone's heart. It can also be life-threatening if not handled appropriately. If you live in a storm-prone area or are planning to travel to one, here's a basic list of how to get through a sand or dust storm.


Do your homework

If you are planning to travel, especially to the Emirates or other such sandstorm prone areas, do your homework. Look for any warnings issued or refer to patterns from previous years when storms have hit the area that you would be travelling to. If possible, alter or postpone your travel plans. It's not like you can have fun stuck in a storm anyway so you might as well wait it out. Try and book accommodation well beforehand instead of waiting to arrive in your location to browse through options. For example, if you are travelling, apartments and many a hotel in Sur Oman are abundant, so reserve them ahead of time.


Take basic precautions

Dust or other fine particles can trigger allergic reactions and worsen asthma. For those with severe allergies, you could even go into anaphylactic shock if you don't act quickly. High-risk groups such as infants, children, teenagers, pregnant women and the elderly or patients with a track record of asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema or allergies, need to be prepared and extra cautious at all times. If possible, it is advisable for such individuals to refrain from going outdoors if a storm is suspected.


Protect your eyes

Assuming you are stuck outside, endeavour to protect your eyes at all costs. Normal spectacles will not offer much protection; therefore, resort to airtight goggles or wrap a cloth around your head while shielding your eyes from the dust. Also, avoid wearing contact lenses as they can easily irritate your eyes in the presence of even tiny dust particles. Similarly, try not to touch or rub your eyes as it might bring on an infection.


Your nose is important

If you are facing a storm or are in the range of one, pull-on a wet cloth around your nose and mouth. If you have a special mask designed to keep out tiny dust particles, put it on immediately and don't take it off until the danger has passed completely. Also, apply a bit of Vaseline (a little is the key) on the inside of your nostrils to prevent it from drying up. If you are generally quite allergic to things, start taking your antihistamines even before any symptoms start. After all, prevention is better than cure.


Choice of Accommodation

When booking accommodation, ensure that you choose trustworthy establishments that will help you in times of need should a disaster strike. There are many available options such as the Sur Plaza Hotel. Safety in numbers, remember?


Stay in, stay prepared

You are indoors and safe with your doors and windows bolted against the raging storm outside. Do you have enough food and water? Emergency supplies? First Aid? These are questions we do not usually ask ourselves when disaster strikes. But it's good to stay ready. When travelling to or living in a particularly unpredictable climate, it's best to have on hand dry rations, supplies of water, sanitary material, and first aid and emergency supplies such as candles, lighters and kerosene oil. Sometimes we have to go back to the basics to survive a rough patch.