How To Prepare for Extreme Weather in 2023
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, 18 weather disaster events caused losses exceeding $1 billion each in 2022. These included 11 severe storm events, three tropical cyclone events, a flooding event, a drought event, a wildfire event, and a winter storm event.
Alarmingly, 2022 has been the eighth consecutive year since 2015 wherein ten or more billion-dollar weather-related events have affected the country. In the Washington District, record-breaking heat waves, warmer average temperatures, heavy rains, and flooding have also been seen.
With our climate becoming more volatile, learning how to prepare for extreme weather in 2023 goes a long way in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. The following tips can help you steer clear of avoidable incidents and even prevent property damage.
While Washington does not experience tropical cyclones strong enough to be considered a hurricane, the state can still experience severe storms. These storms can impact infrastructure, transportation, and services, so it’s best to be prepared before they strike.
Signing up for free local emergency alerts is one practical way to receive warnings about severe weather conditions when they come. The internet can also be a valuable source of up-to-date information as storms approach. However, remember that power can go out during storms, so it’s best to keep a battery-operated radio to stay informed about flooded areas, road closures, and evacuation centers.
Create an Emergency Plan
Severe weather disturbances can cause not only heavy rains and flooding but also power or telecom outages. Creating an emergency plan with your family can help you stay in touch with your loved ones, no matter where you are when a disaster strikes.
Some of the action items you’ll want to include in your plan are:
- A contingency plan for reaching each other.
- Where everyone will go if they are at work or at school at the time of the disaster.
- What the safest area for shelter in your home is. For example, your basement or a room with no windows on the lowest floor.
- How to take care of family members with special needs or pets.
Stock Up on Emergency Supplies
Preparing an emergency supply kit can help sustain you and your family in case you need to take shelter inside your home during a storm.
Here are some items that must make it to your basic emergency kit:
- Water supply that will last for at least 72 hours for the whole family. This will be at least two liters per person.
- Canned foods, energy bars, and other non-perishable food items.
- Manual can opener.
- Battery-powered flashlights and spare batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Prescription drugs, painkillers, antihistamines, and other medications anyone in the family may need.
- Cash in smaller bills.
Take Steps To Prevent Property Damage
As climate change continues, strong winds, heavy rains, and flooding can pose serious threats of property damage. It is always better to be prepared and taking measures such as the following can help prepare your home for whatever natural disaster may come:
- Invest in impact-resistant windows, doors, and garage doors to avoid costly structural damage.
- Bring outdoor furniture and other items indoors, and secure those too big to be moved before a storm is expected to hit.
- Check for weak branches on trees on your property and schedule regular tree maintenance. This helps prevent branches and other debris from damaging your house.
- Strong winds can partially or completely blow roofs off, so it’s best to have yours checked and repaired regularly.
Plan Your Landscaping Wisely
If you’re exploring ways to prepare for extreme weather in 2023 while keeping your property looking welcoming, consider adding pyrophytic plants to your landscaping. Parts of the Washington region are already dealing with small-scale drought, so putting more thought into the features you add to your yard can help prevent unexpected fires.
Here are some tips to help you reimagine your yard with fire safety in mind:
- Use fire-resistant plants and trees such as buckwheat, Catalina cherry, Lily of the Nile, rockrose, yucca, and oak.
- Use pebbles or gravel instead of mulch, as they can act as fuel breaks.
- If possible, upgrade your wood deck to a concrete patio.
- Limit the number of flammable materials on your property.
What’s Next: Secure Your Road to Preparation
Trends show that weather and climate-related events are becoming more common, and studies show that climate change will continue to make these disasters more severe – and unpredictable. While it’s impossible to prevent such events from occurring, learning how to prepare for extreme weather in 2023 can go a long way in keeping yourself, your loved ones, and your home safe.
Now that you have an idea of what to do in anticipation of natural disasters, there’s no harm in taking another step further and finding a reliable property restoration company in your area. In case a storm or fire affects your home, getting expert help can minimize your losses and return your property to its pre-damage state as soon as possible.
Restoration 1 of Washington DC is an IICRC-certified company specializing in property damage restoration. We are here for all your needs, from storm recovery and flood damage cleanup to fire damage restoration. Contact us at 202-335-4820 anytime for expert help!