Preparing for El Niño.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a wetter than average winter here in Southern California. “While it is good news that drought improvement is predicted for California, one season of above-average rain and snow is unlikely to remove four years of drought,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “California would need close to twice its normal rainfall to get out of drought and that’s unlikely.” You can read their recent update on the NOAA website. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/101515-noaa-strong-el-nino-sets-the-stage-for-2015-2016-winter-weather.html
So what are you doing to prepare for all this rain? Start thinking about what may happen, what you can do now while it is dry and have a plan for emergencies that may involve flooding.
Things to do now:
- Have your roof inspected by a licensed roofer. When the rains hit and roofs start leaking, there will not be enough roofers to handle the crisis.
- Clean your gutters this weekend. If you do not own a ladder to safely access heights, call a handyman who does. This can be a hard job, but without clean gutters, water will travel along the path of least resistance, which may be into your home.
- Call your insurance agent and ask if your property is located in a flood zone. Flood insurance is not very expensive and should be considered along with earthquake insurance.
- Make sure you have alternate ways of getting around your town as some roads will flood. Here in the desert, we have roads that pass through washes. These washes will flood and will be unsafe to drive across. According to Ready.gov, “Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.” http://www.ready.gov/floods
- If water gets into your home, it is very important to dry out carpet and walls within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. Consider buying a wet shop vac now while they are in stock. When a disaster strikes, your local hardware supply store will be out of stock.
- Change the wiper blades on all your vehicles now. Driving around in a storm with old blades that have sat outside in our 110 degree heat this past summer will be dangerous.