India has a love-hate relationship with the rains. We spend months waiting for the monsoon to get here and then months cursing it for overstaying its welcome. Every time there’s a long period of rainfall, we hear the usual horror stories of the monsoon causing irreparable damage to people’s homes, vehicles and, worst of all, health. But, with a little attention to detail and the right preparation, there’s no reason to worry about how the monsoon might be the death of you. Here are just some of the ways you can stay one step ahead of the rains this year.

Prepare Yourself

The monsoon won’t be able to catch you with your guard down if you plan ahead of time to stay on top of the situation.
  • Break out the trusty old umbrella and gumboots. It’s time to start carrying these essentials around with you wherever you go;
  • Learn to use Google to stay ahead of traffic. Check which roads are worst affected by the rains and avoid them;
  • Pick up plastic bags for your electronics to stay dry and safe in;
  • Make sure you always carry some cash and a little food around with you, just in case you’re stuck outside with no way to return home in the foreseeable future; and
  • When the rains finally do break, avoid flooded roads – you don’t want to be a horror story about that person who fell into an open manhole, do you?
  • Prepare a disaster kit just in case the unthinkable happens and the rains get so bad that you can’t leave home – one week’s supply of drinking water, some ready-to-eat foods and necessary medications, along with a first aid kit, portable flashlights and extra batteries, candles and matches. It may sound like overkill at first, but that's probably what people in Mumbai and Chennai thought before the great floods of 2011 and 2015, when thousands were stranded at homes or offices without any supplies to last them through the disasters.
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Protect Your Home

Nobody wants their beautiful homes ruined by the torrential rainfall. Luckily, with a little preparation, it’s a breeze making sure that your house stays nice and dry during the monsoon.
  • If you have carpets or special wooden furniture at home, it’s time to put them into storage, because the moisture will ruin them;
  • Before shutting your windows, place rubber lining along the gaps to seal them up and ensure that no leaks spring up even in the worst rains;
  • Check your roof and terraces to make sure you don’t have any leakages and, if you do, hire a contractor to help you plug all the leaks and apply a waterproof coating if need be;
  • Make sure that your house gets proper ventilation during the monsoon as the lack of the same will lead to all kinds of dampness issues and the health hazards that come along with it;
  • All kinds of creepy-crawlies turn up in the rains, so protect your clothes by placing neem leaves or cloves in between them. And while you’re at it, throw a few small bags of silica gel in there to soak up any moisture in the air;
  • Make sure water doesn’t stagnate in or around your home, as these end up being a breeding grounds for mosquitoes and the diseases they bring with them;
  • Check the drains around your home to make sure they aren’t blocked and preventing the free flow of water away from your compound.

Keep Your Car Safe

We’ve all seen the videos of cars floating down the street and you don’t want to be that guy. Even if the rains aren’t that bad, water-damage is a very real concern during long spells of rainfall.
  • The easiest thing is just to leave the car at home and rely on public transport during the monsoon. It sounds painful, but it’s the best chance you have of keeping your car in top shape;
  • Protect the metallic parts of your vehicle by covering it with an anti-rust reflective coating;
  • If you’re determined to use your own vehicle in the rains, check that the wipers are in optimal working condition to ensure that you have the best visibility possible. While you’re at it, get your vehicle serviced once before the rains come in.
  • Invest in some protective gear if you’re riding a bike around in the rains. They’re prone to skidding and some knee and elbow guards, along with a sturdy helmet, go a long way towards keeping you safe.
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