As UCSB students walked to class this morning clad in rubber boots and rain jackets and carrying umbrellas for extra measure, they took a look around at their fellow Gauchos. The look on everyone’s face read one word: misery. The bikers were wiping rain (or were they tears?) off their faces; the walkers were trying to keep their umbrellas intact against the ferocious wind. Everyone was asking one big question: “How do I become more waterproof?”
The answer is in genetics. We are Santa Barbarans and, more importantly, we are Southern Californians. Our people have lived for ages in the land of deserts and droughts, and when the words “El Niño” come up, we start to shake in our flip flops.
So, here are some rain tips for all you Gauchos as you brave El Niño and any other wet conditions you may endure in your young lives.
- The best shoes for wet weather are any type of rain boot, such as Hunter or L.L. Bean. If you don’t want to spend too much money, an old pair of Converse will get you across campus and back to Isla Vista with minimal damage.
- Waterproof jackets are essential whether you have an umbrella or not. For bikers, if you do not have a bike seat cover, wear a longer jacket to separate you from that wet bike seat after your 10 a.m. lecture.
- Dress in layers. The worst that could happen is being dressed for winter in Seattle and, by midday, it’s summer in San Diego.
- The skies are gray … so wear something colorful! You could brighten your day and even someone else’s.
Protect Your Home:
- Check your roof for sagging and dark spots. If you see outside light coming in, you might end up with a messy leak all over your living room floor.
- Call your landlord immediately if you see signs of damage so you can fix the problems before the rain continues.
- Grab yourself some buckets. If you have leaks already, put a bucket underneath them to prevent the rain from ruining your floors. When the bucket fills up with water, go find a garden to water.
- Be watchful of erosion on cliffside homes.
- Clean your gutters of leaves and dirt, and make sure there is a clear path for water to flow.
- Cover outdoor furniture to prevent damage.
- Give yourself extra time before heading to class so you can be cautious of slick bike paths and other bikers.
- Cover your bike seat with a plastic bag. Bring a couple extras with you just in case it rains while you’re in class.
- Be wary of rainbow patches on the bike paths. While they might look pretty, remember that they are built-up oil puddles, and they’re slick.
- Avoid puddles. Save yourself and everyone around you. Please.
- Cherish the knowing glances between you and other bikers as you make that adventure from the 67 block of Trigo to your lecture in the Chem building. You’re all in this together.
- Buy popcorn and hot chocolate, and sit down with your favorite Netflix series when it looks too unbearable to venture outside.
- If you can, enjoy it. Jump in puddles, slide through the mud and catch raindrops on your tongue. Who knows when it’ll rain like this again?
A version of this story appeared on page 1 of the Thursday, January 7, 2015 print edition of the Daily Nexus.