Weathering the Wet Season: Making a Plan to Survive the Monsoons


 

While some northern regions enjoy a full four seasons - summer, fall, winter and spring - those closer to the equator recognize two halves of the year: the dry season and the wet season. While the dry season comes with its own set of complaints, the wet season is typically the worst part of the year for homeowners, who often have to deal with intense winds and rain, if not all-out typhoons and hurricanes. 

The wet season can bring calamity, but even in a tame year, all that water is especially disastrous to those without a plan for survival. Here is a guide to preparing your home and family for the wet season, so you can all survive unscathed.

Prepare Your Home

Your home is supposed to keep the weather out, but it won’t do that job perfectly without your help. Long before the rains set in, you should inspect, repair and clean critical features of your home, so they can function adequately during the monsoons. Additionally, you should check your home insurance policy to understand what types of damage are covered; then, you might purchase additional protection, such as flood insurance or a home warranty, to supplement your insurance.

Clean your gutters. Gutters usher water away from your home, but when they are clogged with debris, they cause water to pool on or near your roof, increasing the chance of a leak.

Seal windows and doors. Your windows and doors are the next most likely source of entry for water during the rainy season. Window and door seals should be new and prevent both water and air from seeping into your home.

Move electronics. You can never fully eliminate the chance of flood, but by keeping electronics far from the floor, you can reduce the risk of electrocution and expensive damage.

Look for signs of leaks. Emergency water damage can occur even outside monsoon season. You should get in the habit of looking for signs of leaks and reacting to them swiftly.

Develop an Emergency Response Plan

Coordination is key during an emergency, so you should work with your family to develop a plan that will keep everyone safe and informed during the monsoons. In the event your home is flooded, hit by lightning or otherwise damaged, each member of your family should immediately know what to do to find safety and one another. Your plan should include an evacuation route, a means of communication and an emergency shelter location, at the very least.

Build a Supply Kit

Because the monsoons can make trips to the store essentially impossible, it is wise to have supplies on hand during this season. Your supply kit should

contain:

  • Three gallons of clean water in closed containers per person and pet

  • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat food for three days per person and pet

  • A comprehensive first aid kit, to include any necessary medications

  • Portable, functional, battery-operated radio and flashlights

Learn Important Safety Skills

Different storm conditions demand different behaviors and skills for survival. You and your family members should practice responding appropriately in different circumstances, so in the event of a true emergency, you can be certain that everyone will be safe.

For example, if flooding is likely in your area, you should ensure that everyone in your family is a strong swimmer. You should learn how to drive in wet and flooded conditions, so you can prevent hydroplaning or drowning your engine. You should not allow children to play outside during rain, especially near storm drains or washes.

Additionally, you should immediately respond to thunder by moving indoors. Neither you nor your family members should touch electronics, landline phones or plumbing during an electrical storm as lightning can travel through phone and power lines. If you are stranded outside while lightning flashes, you should crouch on two legs and avoid standing near trees, telephone poles or other tall objects as well as bodies of water like the ocean or swimming pools.

By gaining these knowledge and skills, you will be better prepared to weather monsoon season safely.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Finally, when the rains do come, it is important that you pay attention to weather forecasts and understand what types and degrees of storms are likely to occur every day. Then, you can plan your daily activities for the utmost safety and keep your family and home secure until the rainy season ends.

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