While December is known to be a time of celebration and cheer, it may also be a time of disaster and despair. Or at least in many parts of Malaysia. Malaysia\u2019s infamous flood season are once again upon us and many people are about to be displaced from their homes. Between rampant deforestation, climate change, unchecked development, and poor urban planning, is it no wonder why things have only gotten worse these past few years. Regardless of where you are in Malaysia, here\u2019s what you can do to prepare yourself for Malaysia\u2019s flood season. Identify the Flood Risk in Your Area If you live in notorious flood zones (like the East Coast), then this probably goes without saying. But even bustling metropolitans like Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are known to have terrible irrigation systems that make floods all the more likely to occur. The two most important portals you need to know about are Public InfoBanjir and MetMalaysia. These two websites (available in app versions as well) provide the most accurate, real-time information on floods including predictions on where they are most likely to occur. Initiate (or Join) an Online Chat Group There are plenty of community online groups that you can join (such as in WhatsApp) to get more information related to the floods. Many of the members may even be veteran flood survivors who have some experience under their belt on how best to weather this unpredictable season. Some also do charity work, helping distribute free food and emergency essentials for those in need. So, it\u2019s generally a good idea to find such communities in your area (or you can start one of your own). Prepare your Children (and Yourself) One of the first essential items you need to get in preparation for a flood are a good pair of rubber boots or 'Wellingtons' for everyone in your family. You don't want to be wading around in contaminated flood waters barefoot or even in slippers or sandals. Waterproof clothes and bags also wouldn't hurt. Get your children waterproof backpacks where you can store flood survival essentials like food and water, a list of emergency contacts (in case they get lost), a spare phone, etc. Delegate Responsibilities If you know for sure your area is about to be flooded in a day or two, it\u2019s time to put your family members to work in\u00a0delegating tasks in preparation for the rising water level. This includes turning off the fuse box, rescuing the pets, and relocating valuables like electronics to higher ground. Whatever needs to be done to keep the family safe and to salvage your property and belongings as much as possible (as fast as possible). Plastic is Your Best Friend Yes, plastic gets a bad rep for polluting the environment but in the case of floods, they can be a life saver. Not only is plastic relatively cheap, they are also good at preventing, or at the very least, minimising, water damage. A good trick for small to medium sized items is to invest in Ziploc bags or waterproof storage solutions where you can keep valuable items that you can\u2019t bring with you during the evacuation. But it gets a little bit tricky with things like furniture which are often large and cumbersome to move around. However, if you're full-stocked with plastic wraps and enclosures then you may be able to protect most of your valuables at home: beds, tables, chairs, wardrobes, the fridge, and even your car. Protect your Vehicle One of the most common cases of flood-related property destruction is cars. When water gets in a vehicle, it damages everything; but this doesn\u2019t mean it\u2019s a lost cause. Yes, you will have to make some expensive repairs but you can also try and do your best to save your property. Aside from parking your vehicle somewhere higher (if you live in an apartment complex), here are some tips on how to protect your car before a flood: \tInvest in a durable, high quality, waterproof plastic enclosure like Climaguard. \tRemove the car battery terminals to prevent electrocution. \tPlug your car\u2019s exhaust hose to prevent water from getting in. Pack the Essentials When it comes to evacuating for a flood, you may be tempted to pack everything. Your photo albums, your expensive jewellery, your heirlooms, etc. But remember, any non-essential items mean dead weight. When the rescue team comes, they probably won\u2019t allow more than one bag per person on the boat. That said, here are some necessities you should definitely bring along during a flood: \tWallet and money \tYour phone and charger \tImportant documents (birth and marriage certificates, insurance, property deed, lease agreements, legal records, etc). *It\u2019s probably a good idea in general if you live in a disaster-prone area to scan and save physical copies as digital formats and keep them in a cloud storage where they are safe. \tMedication \tEmergency first-aid (if available) \tFlashlight and batteries \tPortable radio \tFresh clothes \tNon-perishable\/instant food items (boxed drinks, etc) \tWet wipes Plan Your Evacuation If you are able to get an early warning and are able to evacuate on your own before the flood comes, then you have to properly prepare for the evacuation. If others in your area are aware of the warning, they too will be rushing to leave for safety. This may end up resulting in a sort of bottleneck traffic that could last hours. The only thing more dangerous than staying put in your house is to be caught in the middle of a large flood while you\u2019re in a movie vehicle. Only plan your escape if you know for sure the traffic won\u2019t be a problem. Find Higher Ground Oftentimes it\u2019s a little too late to evacuate. If you are stranded at home and the water levels are rising fast with no rescue team in sight, it\u2019s time to get to higher ground. Some communities have designated meeting places like townhalls which are often situated on higher ground. However, if the flood is too high for you to wade through the only other option is to get on the roof or at the very least the second floor. Weathering the Coming Storm Floods can be a scary experience. And with the rising global water levels, many may even experience the first flood of their lives in places that never used to be affected. But if this isn\u2019t your first rodeo, then you may already be prepared for the worst. For those who are thinking of moving (or have moved) to a flood-risk area, you may need to think about flood preparations\u2014even if you live in the upper floors of an apartment complex. You can also share these survival tips to relatives and loved ones who are currently living in disaster zones. Let us all pray for a safe and mild flood season this year, with love from Motherhood. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!