After the sweltering heat of the Hot and Dry Season, comes the season of rains— usually synonymous with the onslaught of diseases, as well as damage in agriculture and infrastructure. Because our country is vulnerable to the effects of extreme tropical cyclones, preparedness should be our priority. Here are some of rainy season-related hazards and the smart ways to avoid them:
Slippery roads and poor visibility are just some of the hazards for motorists during this season. If you’re hitting the road, remember these basics:
• Drive slowly especially in heavy downpour.
• Keep your eyes on the car ahead of you. Maintain a safe distance from other cars.
• Do not brake suddenly.
• Defog windows.
• Avoid driving through floods.
Water is a great conductor of electricity. When floods rise and strong winds take down powerlines, electric shocks are possible hazards. Not only can electric shocks burn, they may also cause permanent cell damage. Ways to avoid them are the following:
• Seek shelter during thunderstorms and lightning.
• Don’t walk through flood water without knowing the conditions.
• Stay away from fallen power lines.
• Resume work only when flood water has been drained.
• Prepare to evacuate at any moment.
FLASH FLOODS AND LANDSLIDES
The most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters are floods—and the most dangerous of which are flash floods. These combine the flood’s destructive power with incredible speed and unpredictability. When flooding occurs, landslides or the incidents when rocks or debris roll down the slope may also happen. These disasters are extremely destructive and may cause major damage and loss of lives.
To help you avoid them:
• Be updated on the status of floods and landslides in your area.
• Keep a calendar that charts high tides and low tides.
• Ensure that your house is disaster-proof.
• Store clean water and canned goods.
• Keep flashlights, spare batteries, matches and candles within easy reach.
• Put your things and appliances on higher ground.
• Look for a place where you can temporarily move if evacuation is advised.
Heavy rains can cause flooding especially in low-lying areas. Residents are usually alerted to evacuate when the water reaches above-normal level, but there are still drowning incidents during flood season. According to the 2017 World Health Organization, there is an estimated 360,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide. Drowning is also the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death across the globe.
Avoid drowning by:
• Using safety objects such as life rings and throw ropes.
• Never enter the water if your swimming skills are questionable.
• Don’t drive along flooded roads.
• Keep the kids away from the floods.
• Listen to and follow authorities’ instructions.
During the rainy season, experts warn us to be cautious of preparing food. Improper food handling may lead to food poisoning. High humidity in the atmosphere promotes the growth of disease-causing bacteria that affects our digestive system.
Avoid food contamination by:
• Washing your hands often.
• Use serving spoons.
• Avoid street food; some lack the high immunity that can handle the bacterial overload in such places.
• Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
• If food is bought outside, heat it thoroughly before serving.
• To prevent germs from spreading, use an antibacterial dishwashing liquid soap when washing dishes.
Be ready for the rains and the hazards that come with it. Follow these tips and we guarantee that you’ll make it through the rain!