Yesterday, there was a flash flood in my neighborhood, and we were the furthest thing from prepared. The storm lasted only about 45 minutes, but the damage left over looks like a hurricane went through. It wasn’t that storm was extremely strong (even though it was very strong – 50 mph winds!), it was that our community wasn’t prepared. Here are some tips that you can use to weather proof your home for all types of extreme weather in San Diego County:
- Plant mature trees a minimum of 3 feet in the ground. Anything shallower is easily pulled up by the wind once the soil has been softened by rain.
- Keep tall trees trimmed and maintained. Spare your windows and roof the battering of loose branches flying and falling. Not to mention yourself!
- Keep rain gutters clean, even in warm weather. Flash flooding can happen in any type of weather.
- Maintain retaining walls.
- Plant ground cover over slopes and hills that could slide in under heavy rain.
- Have a save space that outdoor pets can retreat to.
- Have an emergency plan for kids in school.
- Park your car inside your garage or carport if you have either.
- Keep an emergency kit stocked with candles and flashlights in case the power goes out.
- Keep dry brush, plants, and dead trees away from the house- a minimum of 50 feet, but ideally more.
- Seal your attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood.
- Don’t wait for the evacuation order. If the fire is close to your home, leave.
- Leave exterior lights on so firefighters can navigate your property in the dark if power remains on.
- Keep garden hoses attached to spigots for quick use.
- Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from walls and supporting beams.
- Make sure window coverings are fire resistant or retardant.
- Keep propane BBQ’s a minimum of 50 feet away from your home.
- Keep an emergency overnight bag packed in the event of a quick evacuation.
- Know where your most important items are that you would want to take in an evacuation so you do not waste time looking for them.
- Fasten all heavy and tall shelves to the wall.
- Upgrade the glass in your home to shatter-proof or shatter-safe glass.
- Put non-slip mats under heavy objects like fish tanks and large televisions.
- Do not hang anything over the head of a bed.
- Regularly check your home for cracks in the ceiling, walls, or floor. Make repairs immediately and bring in an expert if the cracks return.
- Keep a pair of sturdy shoes and socks under your bed. You may need to walk through broken glass to leave your home in an earthquake.
- Regularly check and maintain your electric connections and make any repairs needed immediately. A fire after an earthquake can cause more damage than an earthquake itself.
- Have an emergency kit with flashlights and candles in case the power is out after an earthquake.
- Have an emergency plan for kids at school.