At last, the rains are here… and water will fill Angat Dam! The water shortage has become very real to many households now with water distributors either rationing the supply or announcing unpredictable schedules of water interruptions.
But on the roads, the coming of the rains is not a very welcome situation. With rains come flooded streets, slippery roads, low visibility, more traffic, and generally unsafe conditions out there.
Motorists, passengers, commuters and pedestrians have to take some time to prepare for these conditions; or suffer serious injuries.
I still remember the advice of a good friend from the days when I was just starting to drive:
First, check your wipers. The summer heat may have changed the alignment or even the shape of those rubber wipers. If so, it’s time to replace them. Or you will feel simply lost when the rains come, especially at night, and your wipers cannot clear your view.
Second, make time to have your car serviced either at the dealership or even at the service stations. We usually do that when summer starts and we go out on long drives. Do that also at the start of the rainy season. Woe to you when your car stalls in a flooded street!
Third, check the receipt or warranty card of your battery. Batteries do expire when they are supposed to; most often at exactly the end of the 12-month, 18-month, or 24-month term your warranty states. If it’s too close to the expected expiration date, change it.
Fourth, the longer the rains pour, the longer travel time will be. Expect that and you won’t feel exasperated while traveling to an appointment. So, leave earlier to get to your destination on time.
Fifth, study your route for alternative roads in case of flooded streets or traffic-clogged avenues. On an easy day, like a Sunday, go through the alternative route to check on its present condition. There may be a road construction project ongoing in that area, or worse, the road is now a one-way street and you’re going the other way.
Sixth, load in your vehicle items that can “entertain” you: a variety of snacks, your favorite candies (nothing like sweets to calm you), lots of bottled water, and a sandwich (make one before you leave the house). It’s always more exasperating to drive through the rain and traffic when you are hungry.
Seventh, expect that your feet and legs will likely get wet when you walk from your office to the car in the rain. Have an extra pair of footwear and change of clothes. When the typhoon season comes, I even put in some extra things like a blanket, pillow, a book and three-in-one coffee — in case I have to spend the night in the office or in the car.
And eighth, make sure you have the following things in your car all year: a flashlight (there are many uses for a flashlight and you’ll find out when you’re stuck somewhere on a rainy night), an umbrella, and a rain jacket.
For older women like me, put in a trekking stick. It’s not only to keep your balance in a flooded street, it’s to make you feel confident while walking in a street with stray dogs.
Rain or shine, have a pleasant drive!
By Pinky Concha Colmenares