Preparing for El Nino
As you know, an alleged Godzilla-like El Nino is headed our way. An El Nino weather pattern occurs every 2-7 years and can create flooding and mudslides in regions like ours and near drought-like conditions in areas elsewhere. Regardless of how much rainfall we get, climate experts agree our drought will continue until there are considerably heavy snows and increased snow packs in our northern Sierras.
Our biggest concern is unrelenting rain in our arid, scorched neighborhoods where flooding and mudslides can occur.
We should be hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
So what does that preparation look like?
1) Inspect your roof for signs of damage, like missing or broken tiles, aged or deteriorated material. Now is the ideal time to shore up so El Nino rainwater, seeps…nowhere!
2) Confirm the integrity of your gutters and downspouts. Have them cleaned for optimal functioning.
3) Check the outdoor drains embedded in your landscaping and patio, confirming they’re clear and able to handle substantial, fast-running water flow, so nothing is hindered by dirt, roots, or other debris.
4) Confirm rainwater drains away from, rather than toward, your home. Proper drainage will divert and drain water safely away.
5) If you’ve been looking the other way from water stains on your ceiling or around windows, now is the time to face them. El Nino rains will only exacerbate what’s been brewing. Remember, where there’s water, there’s likely going to be mold.
6) If your home is on a hill or near the bottom of one where flooding can easily occur, check with your insurance carrier to understand the limits of your property insurance and see if flood insurance is warranted. If this strikes a chord, act now, as new coverage can take 1-2 months to become effective.
7) Stock up on non-perishable food, water and batteries. With heavy rains, downed power lines are common, and access to supplies is often delayed.
8) Consider installing a small generator. Don’t expect you’ll be first in line for your neighbor’s.
9) Repair stucco, seal and paint exteriors, to better protect your home from water damage.