Is Washington's coast beautiful because of the rain, or in spite of it? No matter your opinion, you'll still need to prepare yourself and your home for the weather if you're planning to move there - or any rainy town, for that matter.
While sunny days can really bring out the natural charm of Washington state, more often than not you'll be gazing at fog over Seattle's skyline and clouds moving somberly on the edge of Puget Sound. Embracing the sprinkles is part of the lifestyle, much like London with its showers, or New Orleans with its humidity. And while you may have braved bad weather on the move just fine, living there means learning to enjoy the weather, as well as preparing for all of its inconveniences. In this first part, you'll learn how to dress appropriately for a wet season. Do it right, and you'll be singing in the rain - or, at the very least, not minding it too much.
Get waterproof gear
For many people, going out in the rain means grabbing the umbrella or improvising with a newspaper should a storm come on quickly. In rainy towns, there should be nothing last-minute about your rain preparations. Gear up with all the right waterproof equipment. Wellies, those slick and bright yellow boots, are indispensable when it comes to bad weather. In addition to being waterproof, they also come up high on the leg to minimize any splashing. You may also want a rain jacket that goes further than just your hips to help keep pants dry.
Don't forget to layer
Getting a little wet doesn't matter so much when it's 72 degrees outside. However, life can quickly become miserable when there's a chill in the air, as the damp seems to work the cold right into your bones. Apart from that, walking around the office in sodden clothes can also be an inconvenience. The answer to this problem is layers. Sweaters, sweatshirts and a change of socks are all reliable pieces of clothing when it comes to layering. It's also a valuable approach to dress because it means you can make yourself more comfortable when the sun does come out. As temperatures rise, just strip off a few layers, and you'll still be dressed for the weather.
Keep spares in your car
For pedestrians, this may mean learning to steer clear of puddles. However, the bigger concern is learning how to drive in it. Safe drivers will make their way through the rain at a slower pace, ease their way into corners and put on their hazard lights when visibility is low. Should you be new to driving in heavy rains, you'll also want to know your own limits. If your windshield wipers are on full blast and you're still uncomfortable with low visibility, then consider pulling over until the weather passes. While you do need to acclimate to the weather, you must do so at your own pace for everyone's safety.
Becoming an expert driver also means having the right equipment in case of an emergency. Changing a flat tire only becomes more of a hassle when it's wet and foggy out, and it can become even more miserable when you're without proper clothing. Always keep a spare rain jacket handy in the trunk of your car, as well as a pair of boots. Also make sure you have flares or some similar signaling device to let other drivers know of your location. This equipment is especially important in foggy areas.
Install a mud room
The lobbies and foyers of many homes and businesses will often be slicked with water or muddied by footprints. Likewise, you may see piles of shoes gracing either side of people's doors. In your own home, you'll want to have mud room - a space designed for people to take off and store rain or snow gear. In houses, they're usually a small, separate room with a bench, coat hooks, cubby holes for shoes and sometimes even sloped tile floors for run-off water. While you may not be able to install all of those amenities, you can at least borrow some of those principles to help keep your house clean and organized. If you live in a small space, at least consider installing coat hooks and a small shoe rack kept just beside the door. Also, don't forget a welcome mat outside and some sort of rug inside. The former, to help visitors lean their shoes, the latter to make sure they don't slip once they enter.
Consider hard flooring
While an indoor mat is helpful to soak up any remaining water on people's shoes, you don't want to put down a nice rug or carpeting, unless you want to constantly deep clean in order to keep it looking nice. Front entrances are more of a utilitarian space in rainy places, and as such, you'll want it to be easily cleaned. Hard floors, such as tile or coated wood, require little maintenance - simply go over it once with a mop after people come through. Feel free to install carpet in your living room or bedrooms, just give it some space from the front entrance.
Check for roof leaks
If you have an attic, you'll want to make sure that there is no moisture seeping through the rafters. This may be especially difficult to determine if the pitch of your roof creates tightly angled spaces at the edges of your attic. However, this contact point is often where water is likely to breach. Should you find any moisture, clean it up and repair the leak immediately, lest you develop mold or your stored items get wet.
Inspect perimeter of home
Basements aren't always a great investment in rainy areas, but many homes have them, nonetheless. Check to make sure your foundation walls are crack-free and that there is no potential for flooding. Just as with the roof, mold and water damage are the major hazards.
When it rains, you'll notice that the water takes certain paths across your yard. This is due to the slope and pitch of the ground. If your yard is landscaped poorly, you'll have strong currents that rip it up and pour dirt into the street. Mitigate erosion by planting shrubs and trees, and reshape the land if the water flow is a problem.
Overall, your main objective when living in the rain is to keep yourself dry. If that's impossible, at least have something on hand you can change into.