What To Do In A Monsoon
Whether it’s the Southwest summer monsoon or the monsoon season in South Asia when storms start to roll over the landscape you have to be ready to face them. Don’t let heavy rains, flash floods, and thunderstorms catch you by surprise. Find out what to do in a monsoon storm to get out of it safe and sound.
1. Always Check The Forecast Before Going Out
Life doesn’t stop when the monsoon season arrives. Odds are you’ll still have to go to work, or perhaps you’ll want to go on that hiking adventure you’ve been planning for so long. Whatever drives you out of your home though, check the weather forecast before going out.
If you’re commuting to work and heavy rains are announced, take public transportation instead of a cab or your car.
If you want to go hiking, you should not only check the forecast before adventuring into the wild. Download a reliable weather app and check it regularly to prevent surprises. A hiking GPS with bad weather alerts could also be a life-saving investment.
2. Wear Monsoon-Proof Clothing
If you don’t like rubber boots, at least wear shoes with rubber soles. Rubber doesn’t conduct electricity, so in case a thunderstorm strikes unexpectedly, they can keep you a little safer.
3. Stack Emergency Essentials At Home
It is common for people to get stuck into their homes during heavy rains or thunderstorms. In the monsoon season, rain could pour for days. Unless you want to brave the elements because you’re hungry or thirsty, make sure you have a stock of emergency canned or dehydrated food and drinking water.
It is recommended to stash a gallon of drinking water per person per day. If you have pets, account for their drinking water too.
Canned foods must be ready to eat. Using home appliances during a thunderstorm is unsafe. Camping stoves are also dangerous to use indoors. Your only alternative is a backup power supply such as a portable generator, to power up an electric oven or indoor grill, but it’s still best to have food you can eat straight out of the can.
4. Carry Snacks And Water With You
No matter where you go, always carry snacks and a bottle of water in your bag or backpack. You can never predict when the weather will take a turn for the worst, getting you stuck in an area with no cell coverage.
Energy bars are perhaps the best snacks to have in your bag during a monsoon. They can give you a quick energy boost and keep you alert until you’re able to get back home.
5. Get Ready For Flash Floods
Flash floods are perhaps the greatest worry of homeowners during monsoon. If you live in a flood-prone area, prepare to face them before the season arrives.
The most important thing is to create an evacuation plan. Know where to find high ground and how to reach it in case of floods.
Invest in sandbags, plastic sheeting, and plywood to protect you from floodwaters and to make quick repairs after the storm.
Secure wanted objects to prevent floodwaters from carrying them away and store food and materials above flood levels. It is also a great idea to get flood insurance for your home.
6. Prepare A Disaster Supply Kit
Besides food and water, prepare a disaster supply kit too consisting of a first aid kit, batteries, tactical flashlights, and a battery-operated emergency radio. Never include candles or oil lamps in your kit. They are an unsafe source of light and represent a serious fire hazard.
The kit must also contain medications such as over-the-counter painkillers and a supply of any other medications you might need.
Ideally, invest in a backup power source too. This is essential if you have to power up life support or medical equipment, but it can also help you recharge your cell or power up a laptop if you want to stay connected with the world.
7. Stay Safe During Thunderstorms
Most people believe that staying indoors during a thunderstorm is the only safety measure you need. However, there have been reported many cases of deaths provoked by lightning that stroke people while they were in their homes.
To stay safe during a monsoon, unplug all appliances if a storm is expected. Don’t wait for it to arrive. It is unsafe to touch wiring once you start hearing the thunders.
Avoid touching your sinks, tub, shower, or toilet. Plumbing can conduct lightning strikes indoors.
Also, avoid using a corded phone. Lightning can travel through telephone wires and can potentially kill you. A good idea is to have at least one cordless phone in your home. Alternatively, use your cell.
8. Survive Dust Storms
Southwest monsoons are renowned for their aggressive dust storms that are impossible to escape. If you happen to face a dust storm while you’re outdoors, search for a sheltered area and cover your face and head with your shirt, then stand still until the storm passes.
If you’re driving, get out of the road, stop your car, and turn off the head and taillights. Wait in your vehicle until the storm passes. Luckily, dust storms are usually short, and you can easily survive them as long as you stay still until they go away.
9. Don’t Expose Yourself Unnecessarily
While enjoying your life during the monsoon season is crucial, it is also foolish to expose yourself unnecessarily. For instance, you can postpone a hike or trip to the beach if a thunderstorm or strong winds are expected. Check the forecast and plan around it if you want to prevent monsoon storms from catching you.
10. Deal With The Storm’s Aftermath
Water may have stopped pouring from the skies, but this doesn’t mean it’s all over. Besides inspecting your home and repairing any damages, you must also get rid of the stagnant rainwater.
Stagnant water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. If you don’t want to be the receiver of their itchy bites, drain rainwater from trash cans and plant pots and deal with the puddles in your backyard or garden.
Now you know what to do in a monsoon to keep yourself and your family safe from disaster. So, go get prepared and don’t let the next season catch you by surprise.