If you’ve been anywhere near social media you would have seen tragic footage of the city of Karachi submerged in rainwater. Like every year, the monsoon season wreaked havoc for the residents of Karachi, but unlike other years, this year broke a 90-year record of unprecedented torrential rains. The city was battered and bruised with the endless heavy showers which resulted in urban flooding. Many parts of the city received 245 millimetres of rain on August 27.
The city, including the more developed parts and posh neighbourhoods remained submerged in rainwater, with many residents facing up to 72 hours without electricity and gas. While many were forced to leave their homes and their belongings in search of safer areas, most of the city was without any phone signals and network for most of the time. A number of lives were lost, there was damage to property and businesses, cars and vehicles were seen floating in the dirty contaminated rainwater and till now, many residents await relief.
The city’s residents have been left heartbroken and many irked by the lack of action taken by local authorities. Many have taken to social media to raise their voice against the government and demand a change, while questioning why they pay so much tax. With that being said, more rain and storms are predicted in different regions of the province over the next few days. Many parts of the city are on their way to recovering from last week’s rain, while many are still left without a roof over their head. Being the resilient citizens of a city that never sleeps, here are a few ways to prepare for the upcoming rain.
Stay indoors, at home or at work
While we can never predict the precise time of rainfall, we can take measures to ensure that we stay home or indoors during the days when rain is expected. During any given time from now till September 2, rain is expected, so wherever possible, try and stay home or on higher ground. If it is necessary for you to leave your home, do so but ensure your trips are short and quick so you can return home in time. This is especially true when it gets darker; you don’t want to be stuck on the road when it starts raining and the city experiences power outages. If you happen to be at work when it starts raining and the surrounding areas have started flooding, stay put. The office will provide a safe haven until the rain subsides and you are safely able to head home.
Stock up on essentials
During the heavy spells, the city was so submerged in water, that residents found it difficult to leave their homes. Eventually you are bound to run out of the essentials and with all the power outages, the food in the fridge and freezer will no longer be fit for consumption. While it is vital that you don’t stock up with too much (leave some for everyone), having the basics will put you at ease should you be unable to leave the house. Dry items and essentials like milk, bread, water and lentils are great to have in stock. Be sure to check up on your neighbours whenever it is safe to do so, to make sure they have enough food and are able to get through the rainy period.
Invest in sandbags
Karachi’s homes are synonymous for getting flooded each time it rains. And Karachi’s rains have no mercy and will continue to pour and flood our homes. This time was no different. Rain water engulfed basements, balconies, bedrooms, offices and small shops; leaving damage that can not be undone. While there’s only so much you can do to stop the water from entering your property, the rain will have its own way. Investing in sand bags is one way of deterring water from entering your homes. Properly filled sacks of sand can redirect the water and act as a barrier for the rain water. They can be placed at all the entrances to your home or where you know the water is most likely to enter from and are also inexpensive to buy.
Keep all your devices charged
This is one of the most important ways in which you can be better prepared for another bout of rain. Power outages can go on for hours and this time around many people faced power cuts for up to 96 hours. Even with generators, there’s no way your battery can last that long. Having your phones and devices charged means you can at least stay in touch with friends and loved ones during the rains, for as long as the networks allow. If not to keep in touch, then you can at least keep yourself entertained with whatever games and apps you may have on your phones.
Don’t try to walk, stand or swim in standing water
Believe it or not, there are still people who do not understand the dangers of playing or swimming in standing water. We understand the weather is hot and humid and for those living on the streets, it may be a way for them to cool off and enjoy the rain. But wherever possible, advise them and warn them of the dangers that may be lurking beneath the water. Loose wires are often left hanging from electricity poles and end up in the water; leaving it as a death trap for whoever makes their way in the water.
While there’s only so much you can do to stay safe and protect yourself from the rain and monsoon season, these tips can give you some relief until everything settles. We hope everyone stays safe during this devastating time.