Are You Ready for Winter 2015?
After years of drought, Californians are in for a wild ride this winter when we get a visit from an El Nino of record-breaking strength. It’s hard to say how much damage has been done to our homes and neighborhoods by the lack of rain, so now we must take proper precautions to avoid any unnecessary costs this winter.
Dry, hot climates lead to wildfires. When wildfires occur, they take out all of the trees and brush, whose roots are helping to keep the soil together. Without that extra stability, when the rain comes, landslides are the result. One important thing to handle, before any inclement weather arrives, is to check your home insurance policy. Most policies don’t cover flood damage, and El Nino has been known to cause dramatic flooding. If you aren’t already covered, now is the time to add flood insurance to your home insurance policy.
Your next task is to take a close look at your roof and ceiling to see if there are any leaks. You’ll want to get those patched up early – or else you’ll be frantically searching for buckets once the rain starts! On a similar note, clear out your gutters thoroughly and often. Leaves and debris can really wreak havoc on your home’s drainage abilities.
Check your furnace and water heater. This is an obvious one, with the chilly weather approaching. But another scary thing to look out for is a carbon monoxide leak – on that note, double check your carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors too while you’re at it! If there’s any chance you’re going to be stuck inside, you need to make sure your home is a haven and not a hazard.
Lastly, you’re going to want to make a few useful purchases before the storm hits. Rain gear like umbrellas, boots, and coats are a given. Everyone knows you’re supposed to have an updated and non-expired emergency preparedness kit. But what about the non-necessities? Consider waterproof housing for your iPhone or camera so you can document this weather anomaly! Get some sidewalk chalk and create temporary washable outdoor art. Find a magnifying glass or pair of binoculars and see what fresh new parts of nature have been uncovered once the rain stops. The rain doesn’t come to California that often, so make the most of it while it’s here!