Road And Community Safety During The Rainy Season
Extreme weather events continue to pose a threat to many South Africans. Floods and related water damage have caused a risk to the health and well-being of affected communities. Read on to find out about road and community safety during the rainy season.
Follow Precautions on the Road
Most drivers are challenged by bad weather conditions. However, it’s common for many to underestimate the techniques required to drive under such circumstances.
Research shows that most car accidents happen during extreme weather conditions like heavy rain, hailstorms, and thunderstorms. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to adapt your driving skills to accommodate unfavourable and unforeseen weather. Unique obstacles that can affect your driving include:
- Reduced visibility.
- Wet road surfaces causing tyres to glide on a thin layer of water.
- Strong winds which reduce steering control.
- More time required to stop or slow down your vehicle.
- Objects hidden in surface water that can damage your tyres.
Stay Away from Pools of Standing Water
It’s necessary to avoid driving through standing water when there’s a heavy downpour. The general rule is to turn around if you approach a seemingly flooded road and can’t estimate how deep the standing water is. Even if it looks shallow, you should still avoid driving through it, as it can be a risk to your vehicle and passengers.
Even if you are an experienced driver, you can still be at risk and find that the water is much deeper than you assumed or flows stronger than you imagined. Most importantly, hidden objects can cause unanticipated damage to your car.
Protect Your Home
Water damage is one of the most stressful things for homeowners. For example, you should prepare yourself for potentially critical structural damage. Additionally, the repairs can become too expensive when you still need to set a budget.
Catching potential water damage risks is essential, even when they seem minor. The best way to prepare for water damage is to stop it before it starts. The following tips can benefit your home this rainy season:
- Ensure your roof is well maintained.
- Seal your doors and windows to avoid water leakage.
- Improve your drainage system to prevent damage to your home’s foundation.
- Redirect any standing water in your yard.
Avoid Electrical Wires
Most people are aware that water and electricity can be a dangerous combination. When water gets exposed to electrical wires, it can lead to extensive damage like shocks, short circuits, and fires. Electrical fires can be destructive and hazardous for you and your loved ones.
When there’s heavy rain, you should ensure water doesn’t get into any electrical components in your home. The worst that can happen is the water causes the electrical wires to break down and blow the fuse. Turning off the main power switch is crucial if any water is exposed to electrical outlets.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
You never know when heavy rains can result in a flooding emergency. It’s necessary to stay prepared if you live in parts of the country most vulnerable to floods. In most cases, you should expect to face challenges with your area’s electricity and water supply even days after the damage caused by the rain.
You might also need help driving out to get supplies like food and essentials. You should have an emergency kit with backup power, food and water that can last a few days after a disaster emergency. It’s essential to ensure everyone in your family knows the protocol to follow should the worst happen.
In conclusion, you should stay safe as you travel more during these warmer months. South Africa is known for increased rainfall around this time of the year. iER is committed to improving disaster management during floods in communities nationwide.
Download the iER App to access immediate emergency response during floods, road accidents, or home emergencies. Our extensive service provider network gives you access to over 14,000 medical and non-medical emergency response teams nationwide.