We’ve experienced a great deal of extreme weather in the U.S. over the last three years.  In 2012 we saw Superstorm Sandy; the last two winters have set record snow falls across numerous parts of the country; California is in a severe drought and Texas has just declared 40 counties disaster zones.  While extreme weather is something we see a bit of every year, climatologists are saying climate change will increase the strength and length of these storms thereby exacerbating the damage done.  It is unwise and difficult to claim that climate change is causing these devastating storms on its own, but many agree that the severity of the storms is being affected by the changing temperatures on the planet.

 

If extreme storms are going to be occurring in greater frequency then it is important for Americans to begin planning in case of emergency.  Fortunately, thanks to technology there is a lot we can do to prepare in the event of these storms.  Here are some suggestions for improving you and your house’s safety during a storm and what could help you after a storm.

 

Protect Your Foundation: With heavier than normal rainstorms happening, flooding is going to increase in frequency and may occur even in areas that are not normally flood prone.  There are a few ways to help protect your house and your foundation during floods.

 

#1: One measure is with a sump pump which can pump the water out of your basement into the local storm drain or other location far away from your house.

#2: Buying sand bags to place around basement windows and around the foundation in general is a good way to hold back flood waters, too.

 

#3: Raise your outdoor appliances as well such as air conditioning units in order to try and keep it above the height of expected flood waters.

 

#4: If flood waters look like they’re going to make it into your house then shut off the electricity at the breaker panel and elevate any major appliances as much as possible to prevent them from sitting in the flood waters.

 

Personal Preparation: Thinking about and preparing for a flood ahead of time can save your life and others.  Even if it seems unlikely, the old adage of “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” is wise to heed.

 

#1: Gather disaster supplies for a flood.  This includes, but isn’t limited to, containers with clean drinking water, food that doesn’t need refrigeration or cooking, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, important documents in a water proof strong box.

 

#2: Have places that are out of the flood zone to evacuate to, but if roads are flooded then don’t try driving.

 

#3: Pick a location for your family to meet if separated during the storm.

 

#4: Don’t try to cross through water that is higher than your ankles, especially if it is flowing swiftly.

Safety is always paramount, so be smart and prepare ahead of time.

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