Many of us have experienced severe storms, being cold, Snow, power outages, thunder storms, or other rough times with Mother Nature. I would recommend that as you think about summer plans, you continue to think about preparedness plans. Keep in mind this is planning … Just-In-Case. Prepare to fend off that fire-breathing dragon that lurks nearby.
Evaluate your area, region, and even your close-by neighborhood, especially if you have just moved or are planning on moving. You need to be aware of just what might affect you, your family and your home.
Spring and summer are the time for severe thunder storms. I am not talking about a delightful, soft rain that is fun to play in. These are the kind that when they hit, you think the end of the world has arrived. This is the time to have a safe, secure place in your home to retreat to. It’s called being smart, being safe and being secure. Lightning, with the right temperature, follows moisture. If your windows are open, lightning can rip right through your house. I know. I grew up in the Midwest, and several times had the experience of looking at burned walls, electric sockets and places on the wall where the phone used to be.
Heavy, sudden rain can bring about nasty consequences if we have not thought through our situation. When we lived in California, our house sat at the top of a small hill. We were not the least bit worried about a flood. We were wrong! At our curb, in front of our house, was a drainage grate with a sign that said, “Clean water only, flows to the Bay.” OK, so it will flow to the Bay. Until the day the deluge hit and the drains and gutters backed up and overflowed, with lots and lots of water headed right for our house. Luckily, we were able to get it sandbagged in time.
Just this last week, our neighbors across the street were not so fortunate. The water raging through the gutters, which just happened to be clogged, overflowed and dumped four inches of water into their basement. Now how does this relate to severe problems? Maybe it doesn’t since the problem was caught in time and there were no small children in the basements. But what if …?
Hurricane and tornado seasons are here. Assess your home and your neighborhood to see where the safest places are. Practice with your family to see how quickly you can take cover and make it to these places. I remember my grandparents had a storm cellar with the wide wooden planked doors that opened up. We would run as fast as we could to get down there. I even forgot about the spiders – most of the time!
Take the time now to look at area maps to discover where the flood planes are, discover how hard the wind blows, discover how often severe storms and black outs take place in your area. Are you near an area where wildfires could turn into firestorms? What about mudslides?
Perhaps you are thinking, “Good grief I don’t have the time or inclination to delve into all of that “negative news perspective. Nothing drastic ever happens around here. This is just a plain-old-family neighborhood or apartment.”
Well, my firm answer to that is, “It only takes once!”
With that in mind, I have a tiny assignment for you. Take a few minutes to think through the following questions. Then jot down your answers. Perhaps go so far as to have a Family Night or “Family Conference” where you actually sit and discuss your ideas and answers. Develop your plans and supplies / equipment needed to change these ‘negatives’ into ‘positives.’
- How Does Mother Nature Fit Into Your Plans? (Not necessarily by invitation.)
- Assess and plan for severe seasonal weather patterns that might combine with power outages.
- What are “normal” or predicted El Nino/La Nina weather patterns for your area?
- Climate: Wet/Cold ______, Hot/Dry ____, Wet/Hot ____, High Humidity _____
- The positive/negative effects of your climate on the probable long term or short term shelf life for commodities that you want on hand. (Never put chocolate into the long term category.)
During your Family Night, you might even want to go look for big rocks in your neighborhood to see if you can find a dragon! Be sure to take crackers so that you can convince it to stay where it is and not visit your house. But don’t show it your assignment, and then you won’t have to say, “The dragon ate it.”