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Rainy Season Woes

Have you been through a rainy season in Jakarta? If so, you know the scenarios: flooded streets, traffic, honking horns, more traffic, leaking roofs, flooded houses and telephone and electricity outages. Not fun! Some areas of the city are more prone to flooding than others, however, most of the preferred expat housing areas will not experience serious flooding. It's more likely that your flooding experience will be limited to roads that you use to get to work, or your children's school. That is not to say that being prepared isn't always a good idea. So, this year, be ready! Here are a few tips on how to avoid or be prepared for the typical problems this rainy season.

  1. Make sure that the gutters, roof and floor drains are free of debris. Ensure that they are cleaned on a weekly basis throughout the rainy season.
  2. Inspect the roof for broken tiles or those that have shifted over the dry season. Repair if necessary.
  3. Inspect your ceilings for signs of leaking, such as mold, water rings, or discoloration. Repair if necessary. Once the rainy season has started repairmen are in high demand.
  4. Check your windows and doors to make sure they close properly. During a tropical rain storm the wind blows the rain sideways and water can come in these cracks.
  5. Prepare your emergency flood gear. You should have flashlights, spare batteries, extra bottled water, and dry foodstuffs. Supermarket and traditional market supplies of fresh foods run out quickly when trucks are not able to travel freely through the city.
  6. Purchase a floor water squeegee to move water toward the drains.
  7. Check the street and community drains near your home to make sure they are clear from debris. Contact your neighborhood chief and/or landlord to request they be cleaned if they are not.
  8. As your driver to become familiar with street logistics and where it commonly floods during the rainy season, so if need be you could use alternate travel routes. Listening to the radio and checking live time traffic websites can give you an idea of the current traffic conditions.
  9. Ask expat friends how they have weathered previous inconveniences caused by the rainy season as seasoned veterans have lots of great tips to share.
  10. Develop a repair plan to keep your home in tip-top shape! If you are renting, review your lease agreement to fully understand who is responsible for the cost of the repairs. Be insistent with your landlord that the quality of the repairman be competent so he will not need to come back multiple times to correct the same problem.

Typically, you can ask your house boy or gardener to inspect the drains or if you are renting you may suggest to your landlord that some of the maintenance tasks listed above should be completed before the rainy season starts.

Last updated August 7, 2023