The monsoon is upon us. Heavy rains will start lashing across India which sometimes results in flooding. Monsoons in India are a time when nature is draped in its very best attire. Greens cover every inch of bare hills, and waterfalls drench the sides of the earth long left dry due to the summers.
Monsoons are also the time when wanderlust calls to most of us. Trips are planned, bikes are taken out, and friends are gathered over that cup of Chai and a plate of Pakoras.
While the rains transform the landscape and bring down the temperatures, they also wreak havoc to our everyday lives, causing transportation disruptions and health problems amongst other things.
Which is why monsoons are also a time when we have to be most careful of the weather! You never know when that cloud is going to burst and rain the wrath on you, or what monsoon insects will bite you next.
Here are a few tips to keep you dry and safe this monsoon/rainfall season
Avoid the trees
When we get stuck outside during heavy rains, we immediately look for some form of shelter that will help keep us dry from the heavy shower. And where do we head towards in such situations? Trees.
We rush to stand under a tree when it starts pouring to protect ourselves from the rain water but in doing so we are putting ourselves at more risk because rain is always accompanied with heavy winds, which in many cases causes the branches or a whole tree to topple over (as seen in Bangalore recently). So a better option is to take shelter in various buildings, bridges, and shops that can be found in every corner instead of (not so) sturdy trees.
Avoid going out in the rain
It is advisable to not go out too much during the rainy season. It might not be a possible choice when you have a job to do and bills to pay. But in big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, etc. Big IT companies these days are more open to employees taking the “work from home” option which can be beneficial during the monsoon season.
It is also very tempting to drive through or walk through a pool of water. Walking in pools of water or when it is raining puts you to the risk of a host of viral diseases. Most of them can cause a wide range of fungal infections.
For that reason, people should avoid wet grounds. If you have to pass through pools of water for some circumstances beyond your control, make sure to bath with soap and dry yourself to kill all sorts of germs that can cause illness.
This monsoon, dress smart! Try to wear clothes which are a waterproof variety or at least that of a quick-drying material so that they do not limit your movements. Avoid wearing white or light colored clothing, instead, stick to dark solid colors that will hide any puddle or dirty water stains.
It doesn’t just stop with clothing, the kind of shoes you wear also means a great deal. Wearing your fancy leather shoes, or pointy high heels will result in saying goodbye to them forever.
Wear shoes that are water resistant, light in weight and has a better grip while walking on slippery ground.
Also, make sure to carry an extra pair of clothes in your bag for times when you are unable to elude the showers and get drenched. You wouldn’t want to sit in your office chair soaking wet and most likely shivery because of the AC.
Avoid taking your car out
Taking long drives in your car on a rainy day is considered by many people to be really romantic. And other times people prefer travelling in a car during the monsoon in order to avoid getting wet in the rain.
But driving in rain can also be a risky task which is why it requires the driver to diligently follow some safety precautions. It is suggested to exercise caution and drive with care for the safety of other people and even animals crossing the roads during rainy weather.
It is recommended never to cross any water bodies or streams’ flowing horizontally on the roads during monsoons since it is difficult to judge the depth of water at such times. One should use one’s car’s headlights and taillights during monsoons. This not only gives a clear view of the road ahead to the driver but also makes your car visible to other drivers following your car. Always make sure to switch on your vehicle’s headlights when using the wipers.
A better option other than taking your driving your car is to opt for public transport instead. It also helps in reducing traffic jams that are often on the rise during monsoon.
Take serious precautions against mosquitos.
Mosquitos breed more during the rainy season because they favor stagnant pools to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes transmit malaria and dengue which has already been going around and such diseases can be fatal to adults and children if not urgently attended to. Any body temperature rising during this season should be treated with caution.
Invest in mosquito nets as this can make a difference between life and death, particularly for children. Complement the mosquito net with mosquito repellants, mosquito coils, insect’s sprays, and repellent herbs.
Close all windows and doors before dark and wear trousers and long sleeved clothes if you have to be out after dark. Other precautionary measures include fitting windows with mosquito screens, clearing gutters, and draining any water accumulating tools.
Stay away from lightning prone areas
No place is absolutely safe from lighting during rain. Staying indoors during lightning and thunder is a smart option.
But If you have to be outdoors, make sure you are besides high rise buildings. They shield you from lightning through their lightning conductors. If it takes less than 30 seconds between the time you see a lightning flash and hear thunder that means you are within a 16-kilometer lightning range. Lightning strikes within that range. This is a good reason why you should be indoors during a thunderstorm.
But If you are stuck somewhere outdoors never seek shelter under an isolated tree or where you are the tallest object as this is a prime target for lightning bolts. If you are in an open space stay low, crouch down and keep your feet together.