Its funny when you think about it. The MET department and the BMC predict heavy rains, thundershowers and gusty winds, send out sms's to every body and his dog, warning people, making them think twice before leaving home to get to another workday, threatening them that the next 48 hours will make you wish Noah was still around building that wooden floating vehicle. And the next two days go by, with just a few scattered showers, barely inconveniencing anybody except ants and pavement dwellers, and everybody criticizes the BMC and the MET department. Calling them names, making rude jokes, the works. The BMC goes around beating its chest and making statements like 'We are ready', last time was a fluke occurence, which will only be remembered as a one-off spike on the historical graph.
The average bombay chap now doesn't know what to think. He's seeen the worst weather and knows what can go wrong, there is no visibility from the authorities on our level of preparedness. He's seen a few roads blocked because of the first rains already, and it is completely reasonable if he gets anxious. After all he and his city have been through in the last few monsoons, the doomsday predictions suddenly don't seem all that trivial.
I for one know that the city is not ready for a repeat of the previous monsoon's fury. If it were to happen again, the city will pay for its laziness with human lives. Some enterprising mumbaikar would probably see this as an opportunity to earn some moolah by stocking body-bags to transport the victims corpses. The civic authorities will shift the blame to lack of funds, bureaucratic red-tape, mismanaged projects and anything else you can think of.
I hope I am wrong, and I hope that we will not pay as heavily as we did the last time around, but hoping does not translate into real preventive measures. Even if our disaster-management division is confident about its ability, I'd prefer if it never got the chance to actually prove itself. Mumbaikar, trust no one for your safety this monsoon, not the authorities, not your fellow man, just carry a spare set of clothes and get insurance coverage.