Rain in Karachi: How to be prepared for it

Nothing can quite contain a thunderstorm, but with the right measures, the damage can be minimised

By Farheen Abdullah

KARACHI: It’s raining again in Karachi and not a lot of people are looking forward to it. While a few privileged citizens were able to romanticize and enjoy the weather earlier, it soon dawned upon those people that Karachi is not equipped to deal with rain, let alone thunderstorms. Rainy days in Karachi are now a cause of anxiety and distress for its people, many of whom worry about their homes, neighbourhoods and the commute.

While nothing can quite contain a storm, a few precautionary measures can be taken to minimize the damage.

On the road

The safest thing to do when it is pouring outside is to stay at home. However, for the ones who are already on the go or have an important errand to run, make sure you keep your vehicle’s lights on even during the day. These lights will help other drivers identify you and keep a safe distance. When it rains hard enough to effect visibility on the roads, switch on your car’s blinkers to communicate with other cars. Most importantly, make sure you do not speed through the rain and drive at a slow pace.

Rain makes the roads slippery and specially increases the chances of accidents for bikers. If you are on a motorcycle or on foot, try and seek refuge under a bridge or another shelter and wait for the rain to settle down. Wrap your electronic devices in a plastic bag to protect them from the rain.

Inside your homes

Getting rain water inside your house is an experience that many people have had in Karachi. While these situations are often out of one’s control, you can try your best to keep your home safe. Before the storm hits, check your ceilings for any possible cracks or damage. Make any repairs that may be necessary. Check your doors and windows to ensure that they seal properly and keep them closed during the storm. Move any furniture that may be near these exits just in case water seeps through.

If you have any welcome mats placed outside, it might be a good idea to remove them during the storm simply to minimize the mess. If you have drainage pipes installed on your roofs, gardens or garages, clean them before the storm to ensure that they are functional. If these drains are blocked by dirt or trash, the water will simply accumulate inside your house.

Around the neighbourhood

Having a roof over your head is truly a blessing, which is why it is important to care for the ones without it. If you have any stray animals in your neighbourhood and space in your house to accommodate them, bring them in during the rain. With harsh weather conditions and the flooded streets, stray cats and dogs can be lonely and scared.

If your neighbourhood has any clogged gutters, have them cleaned in time. Rain water mixed with sewage is never a pleasant sight or smell. Trees with loose branches can also be hazardous when the wind blows. Paying attention to these small details can not only protect the people from physical damage, but also benefit the entire neighbourhood.

Taking these small steps and planning ahead of time can help make rainy days less disastrous. Keep yourself updated with local news and weather updates to plan your next move accordingly and stay safe.

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