Have you ever been in a harsh summer rain storm—one of those where lightning seems to continuously charge across the sky, thunder rolls on day or night, and rain and hail pound the earth with fury—and thought to yourself, “I caused that?” You may not be Thor, God of Thunder, but your presence on this earth does have a power and Influence to it. Fact is that even NASA says that our storms are getting worse.
The answer behind this fact is climate change.
You see, climate change is causing a startling increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This therefore boost temperatures to rise on earth’s surface. Due to this, it has been suspected that this can cause more drought to come over the land as well as make storms more intense—think hurricanes, cyclones, monsoons, and tornadoes. To help you be ready for such times, this is what you need to know and do:
Develop Your Evacuation Plan
You don’t have to be Einstein to know that when a hurricane is on the way that you should evacuate. All it takes is to be human and know fear. In that moment of fear, though, are you capable of making wise decisions?
To be honest, the answer is probably “no” for most of us.
That is why it’s important to think ahead. Whether or not you live in a place that is well-known for stormy weather or live in a place that can be pretty calm, you should still make a plan. Know where you will be going in the case of a weather emergency. You should probably head for high ground or relocate miles away. You may also want to find a friend or family member who would be willing to take you and your family in if there’s ever such an emergency.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, thousands of people had to evacuate. Yet, where did they all go. Many of them got displaced in shelters, but many others had people that they could go to. Decide ahead of time where you want to go and talk it over with that friend or family member so that they know that that is your plan.
Develop a Fortified Shelter
You do not want to end up in the eye of a tornado, with hail and wind ripping through your home, only to think, “I should have gotten a shelter”. Whatever the cost is for a shelter to be installed in your backyard, it is worth it.
Your life and the lives of your family members is worth it.
Don’t think of a shelter being just a shed or somewhere in your basement. No, it should be done professionally. Then, you should make sure that it has a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit inside of it—containing water, food, and medications.
Establish a Backup Power Supply
We’ve all been there. The power goes out and we can’t access the things that are so momentarily important to us—desk top computers, the stove, lights, etc. The air conditioning goes out and forget about Wi-Fi. You can expect it to get either hot or cold, depending on the reason for the power outage. The food will get spoiled and the children restless. This might be easy to deal with for an hour or two, which is how long most power outages last.
Yet, could you go without power for days?
That’s a scary thought for many of us and that’s when a portable gas-powered generator would come in handy. If you live in a big house or have a big family, though, a bigger one might be better. In that case, it should also have an automatic transfer switch, like those at Enercon Engineering Inc. That will help protect power line workers and emergency personnel from dangerous back current feeds from your generator.
Alright, so you think you’re prepared—ready to prove your bravery in the storm. Yet, preparation isn’t just a one-time plan ahead deal. It’s a lifestyle change as well. You’ve got one more thing that you have to do.
Decrease Your Carbon Footprint
A Carbon Footprint is basically when we do things that add to the C02 emissions in this world. This disrupts the greenhouse effect in this world which then (as mentioned in the intro) contribute to the intensity of storms.
Don’t think it’s entirely your fault?
Of course, you’re not the sole cause of the planet’s ecosystem going downhill, but your influence on it still matters. Not only can you influence it by what you do, but you can encourage others like your friends and family—in a nice and friendly approach—to be self-conscious about their carbon footprint as well. Here are just a few things that you and the people you influence do to help decrease your carbon footprint:
- Carpool with coworkers to work
- Turn your vacations into road trips rather than flying
- Eat locally-produced food whenever possible
The point is that you matter. Your friends matter. Every individual and creature in this world matters. See life as a domino effect—everything we do influences another. It can even influence the physical world around us, especially when it comes to storms.
Have you ever watched the news and seen a great devastating storm? The newscasters tell you how many inches of rain there were, the cost of damage and, even more shocking, the death toll. When you think about it, if we’re all causing the storms to be greater and ever more negatively impactful, we are responsible for the results thereof as well.
Hopefully, the above information has helped you to realize how consequential our actions can be. We’re not going to stop seeing those effects overnight—maybe not even for years more to come—and so hopefully it has helped you to be prepared for ending up in a storm yourself.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.