WATCH: Safety tips for rainy weather
Rain is a source of joy for many. For the people of Qatar, this happiness is tenfold, particularly because it is quite a rare occurrence in the country.
This year, after an anxiously long wait, citizens and residents of Qatar experienced the first shower of blessing on Sunday, indicating the official arrival of the rainy season.
With more downpour expected in the coming days, it is important to be reminded about some safety tips during the wet weather.
Driving in the rain
- As rain falls, it creates slick conditions that are perfect for skids. The best way to avoid skidding is to slow down. Driving at a slower pace allows more of the tire’s tread to make contact with the road, which leads to better traction.
- It takes about three times longer to brake on wet roads than on dry ones. Hence it is important not to tailgate as more distance is required to brake. So keep a little more than two car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- In case the car’s windscreen becomes misty, one should run the air-conditioner to clear it for better visibility.
- Avoid using hazard lights while driving in the rain.
- Ensure your windshield wipers are working properly. They shouldn’t streak and should completely clear the windscreen in one swipe. If they don’t, replace them immediately. You do not want to be driving in heavy rain if you can’t see the road properly.
- In case of heavy winds, keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, especially in open places, so that even if you feel your car swaying, it is in your control.
- Do not drive fast or your tires may lose traction with the surface of the road and your steering wheel may feel light. This is called hydroplaning. To gain back traction, slowly release your foot from the accelerator without braking and let your speed go down until you regain steering wheel control again.
- Another reason to drive slower in the rain is so you don’t shower pedestrians or those on bicycles or motorbikes with water.
- Watch out for vehicles that are big or traveling at fast speeds because they may cause a water spray that will reduce visibility.
- When driving in the rain, try to keep a gap of up to six seconds from the car in front because the road may be slippery and you must maintain a safe stopping distance.
- The tire tread depth and inflation must be in perfect working condition because when driving in rain, a good grip of the tires on the road is a necessity.
- All rear and front car lights must be working properly in case the sky turns dark and you need to use them
- Avoid using the cruise control feature fitted in most new cars during the rain because even though they work well in dry weather, you may lose vehicle control in wet weather. If cruise control is on, you may lose traction and may not be able to reduce the car’s speed by releasing pressure on the accelerator slowly.
- If your car breaks down in heavy rain, do not keep the bonnet open as you risk damage to the car’s electrical system.
Keep track of weather warnings and stay alert
- Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority recently launched a new meteorology mobile application - Q Weather, which brings the latest weather updates in Qatar and the world at the users' fingertips. For the users’ convenience, the information is available in Arabic and English.
- Download the Q Weather app to stay up to date with the latest forecast. You can find it on your App Store and stay safe this rainy season.
- The highly dynamic app features all the information users may need regarding weather conditions, from hourly forecasts, daily reports in different areas of the country, to temperature and humidity rate. The app also provides details on wind speed and wave height on the coast and at sea.
How to stay safe and use electrical items properly during rains
- Do not handle electrical items with wet hands, the advisory says, advising people to wear 'electrically insulated' gloves and shoes while handling such objects.
- Do not approach an electricity pole or power line in rainy conditions.
- In case of a sudden power outage, turn off plugs and switches.
- Never use electrical wiring or cords in wet places
- Make sure that outdoor electrical panel boxes and lighting do not have any water leaks and the outlets are insulated
- Keep all electrical appliances away from direct rain
- Stay away from tall, 'standalone' trees and electrical poles, and find a 'low, safe spot' in rainy conditions.
- Never touch an electrical appliance if it has dropped in water, and must turn off the power supply in such cases.
- Make sure you have emergency lighting devices that can be used whenever needed.
- In the event of an emergency, call 991 and also report the matter via the Kahramaa mobile application.
Who to contact in case of an emergency
You can connect with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) in Qatar via call:184 or through its Mobile App: OUN
Here are the emergency numbers for all the municipalities in the country to remove the rainwater:
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