Sandstorms are a common occurrence in the Middle East. Along with the fine particles of dust, they spread around of lot of allergens and many people rush to hospitals for respiratory, eye and skin problems. While staying inside is the best way to escape a dust storm, in the event you get caught in one, follow these guidelines to protect yourself and help others.
1. Protect your nose and mouth by wearing a handkerchief, bandana or any piece of spare clothing. It is important to filter out fine dust particles to avoid respiratory problems.
2. Protect your eyes with sunglasses or goggles. Use your arms to protect your eyes if nothing is available. Eyes are extremely sensitive to allergens and dust is a major irritant and a cause of eye infections.
3. Protect your body by wearing a long sleeve shirt, jacket or blanket. Exposure to storms can trigger a skin allergy.
4. Take a shower as soon possible to get rid of any allergens lodged in the crevices of your body.
5. Keep yourself well hydrated as dust and humidity steal the moisture away.
6. If you are driving, exit the highway, pull off to a safe distance from traffic and stop.
7. Turn off the engine to avoid fine debris in your air filter.
8. Drive slowly and use headlights. If parked on the side, always use hazard lights.
9. Remain inside the vehicle and do not wander about to avoid being hit by another vehicle.