Thursday Jul 12, 2018
The clouds have taken over the sky for the past few days, it's breezy, it’s pleasant, and the cool temperature is a relief after braving many scorching hot days.
Citizens are hoping that the hide and seek between the sun and clouds ends soon, and it starts to rain.
With this inclement weather upon us and rain clouds set to start pouring any day now, it is important to be prepared for the rainy season.
Though a blessing, rain can also bring a host of issues which can be detrimental for health and sometimes life-threatening.
Countless people sustain injuries and many lose their lives during the monsoon season every year. Most of the incidents are caused due to collapsing houses, electrocution, and road accidents.
By taking a few prudent measures, we can ensure the safety of our family.
Surely easier said than done, the aroma of pakoras, samosas, kachoris and French fries from the street vendor’s cart is highly intoxicating during the rainy season.
But street food during the rains is a big no! Most of the street vendors do not have the means to cover their cart and food properly and many times they are also situated near open drains and polluted surroundings. With such conditions, the vendors aren’t able to prepare, store, and serve the food hygienically.
Their food is highly susceptible to contamination through rain-water, bacteria, and viruses in their surroundings. It is far more germ-infested than usual.
Holding back on your cravings and opting for the home-cooked versions of the salivating food will safeguard you from a host of diseases, like Typhoid, Hepatitis, Jaundice, intestinal infections, Cholera, Gastroenteritis, and Diarrhea.
Getting immunization shots is another way to avoid diseases during the monsoon season.
Electric poles and street lamps are a major cause of electrical accidents. With high wind pressures and torrential rain, many of them are damaged or fall down causing serious hazards.
Electric poles shouldn’t be touched during the rain and shouldn’t be taken as a support to put up hoardings, signs, and tying animals.
A fallen wire from an electric pole should be considered energized and any risk to touch or remove it should not be taken.
Do not try to repair fallen wires; lodge a complaint to the electricity providing company immediately, so that they can safely fix it.
Moreover, stay away from water that is accumulated near electric poles and avoid touching switches installed on streetlights.
Though the pleasantness of the rain invites you to go for a drive or a walk, with the current conditions of our streets it isn’t a very good idea.
Open drains, water logging, potholes and broken roads cause many hindrances and may be highly detrimental. Especially avoid such excursions in case of lightning, heavy rains, and wind.
Step out of the house only when it is necessary and unavoidable. Avoid walking barefoot even indoors especially during rain.
If you do need to go out, make sure you watch the news and follow traffic updates before choosing the route to avoid hazards, traffic jams, and gridlocks.
While on the road, update yourself through the radio or social media to know what’s happening where. Maintain a safe and steady speed and avoid overtaking.
Ensure that you and the passenger, both, wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
Moreover, make sure your fuel tank is full because you don’t know how long you might be stuck on the road. Increase your stopping distance and maintain a good distance between the vehicle in front of you.
These pesky insects are rampant during the monsoon season, as there is an abundance of breeding grounds.
Make sure that you eliminate all puddles accumulated in your house after the rain, so they don’t start festering in your house.
Mosquitos spread many diseases like Malaria, Dengue, and Chikungunya which can be life threatening, if not treated in a timely manner.
Make sure that you use mosquito repellants in the evening and try wearing full-sleeve shirts and trousers.
If you are looking for a more fragrant way of keeping the mosquitoes at bay, try applying essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree oil.
Furthermore, keep in notice rising fever and other related symptoms and consult a doctor immediately.
It’s a good idea to call in an electrician to do a thorough check-up of the house to ensure the fuses, switches, UPS, generator, and connections are in functional condition.
Ensure all the appliances and wiring in the house is earthed properly. Most incidents of electrocution are caused by kundas (illegal electrical connections) so this is a good time to put an end to these and prevent fatal accidents.
Moreover, avoid using electrical appliances, multi-point plugs, faulty gadgets, and broken wires during lightning and thunder.
Always make sure that you have dry hands and are wearing rubber slippers when you are touching switches, the fuse box or other electrical devices.
Do not touch people who are being shocked directly. Turn off the power immediately and use a non-conductor like a wooden stick, or rope to remove them from the electricity. Lastly, if one phase is switched off during the rains, do not switch to the other phase.
Children need the most care and attention during the rains as they are most susceptible to colds and flu due to changing temperatures.
It is prudent that children are made to understand all safety guidelines to follow during rain. Playing outside during lightning, heavy rain, and strong winds isn’t advisable.
Additionally, do not allow children to play in the accumulated water in the streets and compounds or climb trees. Though depriving a child of playing in the rain isn’t possible, make sure that they are always under adult supervision.
The author is a Karachi-based freelance writer and entrepreneur. Her interests include social development, arts and travelling.