In the past few years, Mumbai is witnessing the monsoon season bring along with it a series of calamities. The 2005 floods are still fresh in the minds of many Mumbaikars, and every season, a sentimental feeling of doubt towards the rains stems in people’s minds.
People should be prepared to face the possible disaster during the monsoon. Families should be encouraged to stock an emergency kit, which contains essential medicines, first-aid items, extra food items, adequate drinking water reserve, and a backup power supply.
One should obtain the weather information in advance through the news, internet, various mobile apps, or newspapers, etc., before stepping out during monsoon. This would help you avoid getting caught in heavy rains, floods, roadblocks, and lightning.
Disease prevention tips
Drinking clean water is a must. For drinking purpose, drink RO purified water or boiled water. Most monsoon illnesses are waterborne, and hence water safety is of paramount importance.
Drinking clean water can prevent you from many ailments, like acute gastroenteritis, hepatitis A and E, typhoid, etc.
Beware of mosquitoes; take adequate preventive measures to restrict them from entering the home, workplaces, etc. Use mosquito repellents and mosquito nets around beds.
The surroundings of the house must be kept clean, and one should make sure that water should not stagnate. These measures will prevent incidences of dangerous ailments like dengue, malaria, and chikungunya. Also, avoid venturing into and spending too much time around water stagnated areas.
Avoid wading into collected rainwater, to prevent contracting to leptospirosis, which is caused by direct contact with urine from infected animals, especially, if you have cuts or sores on your legs and hands.
Disaster prevention tips
- The most important factor is to be vigilant. One should not allow children to play near drains or out on the roads soon after the heavy rains; children should always be under the supervision
- Be alert during night hours, as rain and darkness are a lethal combination, especially for road-traffic accidents
- Do not undermine floods in the urban areas, they; too, can turn out to be fatal. Water immediately gets stagnated within few minutes, making it difficult for drivers to control their vehicles
- Leave your vehicle on the spot, if you get caught in the flood, and seek higher and safer ground. Remember life prevails over materials
- Do not walk through waterlogged roads to save time during travel. This can be very dangerous, as any deep pothole or an open manhole can lead to significant injuries or even death
- Avoid going out during on-going lightning or roaring thunderstorm. One should remain indoors for a minimum of 30 minutes when one sees or hears lightning
- During on-going thunderstorms, you may get hit by lightning, so, it is advisable to stay indoors. Also, trees are not safe at the time of the thunderstorm
- One should unplug electronic devices, including telephone lines when lightning or thunder occurs. Stay away from electric cables and power lines
- Elderly should avoid going out during or after the rain, as the roads get slippery after the rains
- Try and help children, elderly, even animals, which might have strayed on the roads, help them get to higher ground.
The author is the Head of Emergency Medicine at Fortis Hospital, Mulund