Say ‘NO’ to Tobacco

Smoking and the use of tobacco has been a trending topic on almost every social media platform. It is not an unknown fact that smoking and the use of tobacco has many negative results.

Smoking and the use of tobacco is the main reason for cancer and many other cancer related diseases. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. About 70 of them are known to cause cancer. Smoking cigarettes is the number-one risk factor for lung cancer. But, smoking can affect your entire body, and is known to cause cancer in; Lungs, Trachea, Bronchus, Lip, Stomach, Kidney. In addition, Smoking also makes it harder for people with diabetes to regulate their blood sugar. That’s why smokers with diabetes have a higher risk of kidney disease, peripheral arterial disease, eye disease, and nerve damage that can result in amputations, poor vision and even blindness. Exposure to tobacco smoke quickly damages blood vessels throughout the body and makes blood more likely to clot. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the delicate lining of the lungs and can cause permanent damage that reduces the ability of the lungs to exchange air efficiently.

Latest results have that smoking and the use of tobacco could decrease bone density. This could result in fractures and other bone related diseases.

Giving on this deadly habit may not be an easy task, here are some simple ways which would help you quit smoking:

  1. Make a list of things which would keep you occupied. Include a number of things which you prefer to do during your leisure time and include a number of places which you wish to travel. This would keep you motivated
  2. Get your daily exercises, a daily morning walk would help you to stay focused too.
  3. Throw out anything that would distract you from your main aim and tempt you to smoke
  4. Collect the money spent on tobacco in a separate jar. Each month count the amount you have saved and reward yourself with something useful
  5. Be confident and proud of yourself for quitting such a deadly habit

Lost Your Important Documents During the Flood/Landslide Season? Here’s What You Should Do!

The Disaster Management Center has reportedly estimated that around 250 individuals are still living in temporary camps and a reported 61,859 individuals have been displaced as a result of the recent season of landslide and flood.

Following these two major natural disasters, many individuals have lost their valuable belongings including valuable identification documents. In case you’re a victim and you’ve lost such valuable documents here’s what you can do:

  • National Identity Card:

In case you’ve lost or misplaced you NIC during the flood and landslide season, immediately obtain an application form from the ID office or Divisional Secretariat. The completed form should be certified by the Divisional Secretariat. Make sure to lodge a police complaint stating details of the lost NIC. A letter should be obtained from the Grama Sevaka confirming your address and other relevant information.

The Department has stated that NIC’s obtained prior to 1st of September 2014, is unlike to contain information on the database and citizens are required to hand over the completed form and the other two documents in order to avoid any delays. If you’ve obtained your NIC after the above mentioned date and have lost or misplaced it during the recent landslide or flood season, you’re requested to produce a document confirming your personal details. This could be your passport, birth certificate or even your marriage certificate.

  • Passport:

In case you’ve lost your passport, immediately lodge an entry with the nearest police station, soon as possible.  Make sure you clearly state every important detail regarding this and try to recall as much as information which was included in your lost passport.

Once you lodge the complaint, provide a copy of this to the Department of Immigration and Emigration and officials will guide you with the process further. In case, your passport was drenched, make sure you produce it to the Department in order to obtain a new one. There will be no penalty charged if the  drenched passport is produced to obtain a new one.

  • Certificates – Birth/Death/Marriage:

In case you’ve lost a birth certificate or a death certificate during the recent flood/landslide season, make sure you provide details as much as possible, as most of the details related to these are stored in a database and could be recovered in a shorter time. The fee to obtain this would be Rs. 100.

In case you’ve lost your marriage certificate, you’ll be able to obtain it from the place which you initially obtained it from, as an example; if you initially obtained it from Colombo or Galle, you’ll be able to recover this document from the Colombo DS or the Galle DS.

  • Deeds:

In case you’ve lost your title deeds or other property related documents, you’ll be able to recover them from the Land Registrar. There are 45 Land Registries for this specific purpose.


Cleaning Your Home after Flood Damage

A sudden flood can cause severe damage to your home and furniture. This damage would be even severe if the water level is not minimized or quick measures are taken to get rid of water. Although some of these factors cannot be controlled, here are some tips to take care of your beloved home.

  • Get rid of water

There are several ways to get rid of water. If you are too concerned about wires and fixtures, there’s a traditional option of drying out the area by using old absorbents like towels, rugs, mops and sponge which could soak out water. Do not use any unsafe cords or wires connected to vacuum cleaners. Be mindful in pouring the excess amount of water. remove carpets and other material fixed to the floor.

  • Drying out the affected area

Drying out the area could be a challenging task, especially when the rain fall continues. Open out windows or additional doors for clean air circulation. This could help fight bacteria. Use mops and other equipment to dry out the area as fast as possible. be mindful of slippery and wet floors.

  • Disconnect power supply 

An emergency flood can cause severe damage to your valuable electrical appliances. The best way to take care of them is by moving them to a safer place and disconnecting them immediately. Make sure they are disconnected from the main power supply before meddling them around.

  • Dry out furniture

A flood can cause immense damage to your valuable furniture. As soon as the water level reduces, make sure you dry out soaked furniture and use liquid solution to dry out the absorbed water. If the water remains, it could cause more damage leading it to be a breeding ground for insects.

  • Disinfectants are important

Once the affected area starts drying out, make sure you use sufficient disinfectants when cleaning the affected areas. A good disinfectant could help you to get rid of bacteria and other disease causing germs. Be mindful of the disinfectant you use. Always stick to the directions of usage or seek professional help. Make sure disinfectants are used in washrooms, kitchen, pantry and bedroom. Use gloves and other protection material at all times.

Flood Emergency Tips

You may not be able to predict an emergency flood especially during this rainy season. however, it is important to be prepared and to protect yourself from an emergency flood caused due to a heavy rainfall. Here are some tips to stay safe during an emergency flood.

  1. Be alert of your surrounding. Monitor the surrounding environment during the rainy season and know the weather condition. Keep your self updated.
  2. Stay out of low-level areas subjected to flooding and do not drive through flooded areas.
  3. Ensure disaster supplies such as; drinking water, emergency clothing, flashlight, medicine, footwear and important documents such as; identification documents and other important documents.
  4. Be prepared to evacuate. Identify safe places to move out to.
  5. Identify alternative travel routes that are not prone to flooding. Keep your family, friends and neighbors informed.
  6. If there is time, move valuable furniture to higher levels.
  7. Move hazardous material such as: pesticides, oil and gas cylinders to higher levels.
  8. Disconnect electrical appliances before you evacuate and keep valuable electrical appliances on a higher level. Do not touch or lift any electrical appliance if they are already in water
  9. If possible, use flotation devices and lifesaving jackets if the water levels rise.
  10. Before you leave, make sure you lock the doors to avoid any further damage and shut off water and electrical services before you evacuate.

Thunderstorms and Lightening

Thunderstorms and lightening could take over many lives and destroy many worthy things. It is always important to stay safe and follow safety tips to avoid any lightening damages. Here are some important tips to keep in mind.

  • Keep Away from Water:
    Keep away from water, bathing, laundry or even washing dishes. Plumbing is one of the main ways which lightning enters a structure after striking. Metal water and sewage pipes are considered to be excellent conductors of electricity and the water they carry can be laden with impurities that also help conduct electricity.
  •  Keep Away from Telephones:
    A bolt of lightning could easily strike a telephone pole and could cause an electrical surge to shoot through the telephone lines which could harm your body or even end your life. Make sure you stay away from telephone devices when there’s heavy lightning.
  • Stay Away from Windows/Doors:
    Make sure you stay away from any opened spaces or even windows or doors. Lightning has been known to strike through glass as well as travel through unsealed cracks along doors and windowpanes.
  • Stay Safe on the Road:
    The car’s metal frame that keeps the driver and passengers’ safe while inside. Should lightning strike a vehicle, its metal frame will conduct the electrical current around the outside frame of the car and into the ground below
  • Keep Away from Electrical Appliances:
    In case lightning strikes  your vehicle, some portions of its electrical current can flow through its electrical systems and metal appendages, including the radio, cell phone charger, USB connectors, GPS units, car door handles, foot pedals, and even the steering wheel. Therefore, the best way to stay safe is to pull to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights, turn off the engine, keep your hands in your lap, keep the windows rolled up, and wait until the thunderstorm has passed before continuing on your journey or exiting the car.