Rain can be quite romantic and dramatic – the steady beat of raindrops on tin roofs, the croaking of what appear to be a hundred frogs in the evening… They are a welcome break from the incessant heat waves that have been hitting several countries this year. However, severe downpours and floods have been occurring quite a lot lately; tragedies can be avoided if you are properly equipped and informed. Have a quick look at this list, and make sure you’re ready to act in cases of emergency.
1. If you are out and about during a heavy storm, keep the people in your home updated.
photo credit: nixter
This may seem like a moot point, but it’s important to keep the anxiety level as low as possible. Keeping people informed about what’s happening to you can be incredibly reassuring. You will want to avoid family members, or loved ones, venturing out to look for you. Keep the situation in control as much as possible and keep calm.
2. Keep your phone charged – and, if possible, keep it in a waterproof container.
In cases of a power outage, one of the worst things that can happen nowadays is having your phone die on you. Keep it charged to ensure a method of communication. If the storm gets really bad, keep it in a waterproof container, such as a sealed plastic bag, and make sure to use it only when necessary. Investing in a power bank is a very good idea. It is also recommended to keep emergency numbers on fast dial.
3. Have a working flashlight in your home.
Keep the flashlight in an accessible place and make sure to keep batteries nearby. Avoid using candles if you can, as they can be a source of hazards and accidents. Most smartphones have a flashlight function as well – so you can use that if there is no flashlight nearby.
4. Unplug sensitive electronics BEFORE a storm, if possible, to avoid damage.
I’m sure you’ve all heard it before: you’re supposed to unplug electronics during a thunderstorm, which is supposed to ensure that your devices will stay unharmed from power surges. And I’m sure many of you have rolled your eyes at this – how many storms have come to pass with all of your devices still intact? Still, the risk is a reality, and precautions should be taken to avoid tragedies of any kind.
So, what is a power surge? – It’s basically a spike in your home’s electrical current – think of it as a sudden burst of energy. It’s happens very briefly, lasting less than a thousandth of a second, but it can render your device absolutely unusable. Appliances using a motherboard, or a circuit board, are even more at risk.
“But I can just turn it off!”, you might say – I’m sorry, but that is not the solution. It will still be plugged in and it will still be connected to a power source… so even if it was turned off, a power surge will still be able to destroy it.
5. Have a supply of canned and instant food in your home – and ,of course, an easy to use can opener.
photo credit: caryatidxx
It’s a good idea to stock up on easily accessible chows – think canned tuna, corned beef, pork and beans. Don’t stock up on instant noodles – you need hot water for that, and in case of a power outage, you can’t rely on something like that. This is especially true for areas that have no running hot water (i.e. they have no built in water heater). Make sure to have a can opener around, though!
6. Get yourself a First Aid Kit
Having a First Aid Kit is always a good idea. Keep the kit near your other emergency utensils. Replace the contents of the kit every year, since the adhesives degrade and the meds lose their effectiveness.
7. Avoid flood water at all cost, especially if you have exposed wounds on your feet and legs.
photo credit: REM (rembcc)
Floods are an ideal condition for waterborne diseases to thrive. Avoid walking in flooded streets with bare feet and legs; wear rain boots, or create makeshift boots out of plastic bags and tape. If walking in possible contaminated waters, proceed with utmost caution.
8. Keep yourself updated with official announcements from trusted sources.
Storms and floods can be a reason for schools to cancel classes. If you still go to school, or have a child who goes to school, please verify first if there will be classes or not. However, if the storm is particularly bad, or if your neighborhood is flooded and prevents you or your child from safely getting to school, then trust your common sense and call it a rainy day.
Featured image by Frederic Mancosu.