El Nino

California is in the midst of a severe drought, so it may be strange to think about what to do prepare your home for torrential rains. But that’s just what homeowners in Laguna Beach should be doing to prepare for what experts believe will be a winter of severe weather. Meteorologists are predicating a strong El Nino that will bring with it heavy rainfall, rivaling the one in 1997 that caused severe flooding and landslides. The time to start preparing is now. Here are some tips to make sure your home is ready

Inspect Your Roof

Take a look at the roof from the ground to see if there are any missing shingles and areas that are sagging, warped or otherwise damaged. If anything looks amiss, call in a professional to have it fixed properly before the winter weather arrives

Check Turbine Vents

Turbine vents are exhaust vents on your roof that spin and suck hot attic air outside. When they spin, they blow rain away from the openings. Check to make sure there are no obstructions keeping the vent from turning, and that the vent is securely attached to the roof; otherwise, you may have a leaky attic when the rains come

Check the Gutters

The best line of defense once the bad weather hits is having clean gutters. Spend extra time this summer giving your gutters a thorough cleaning, removing all debris and dead leaves. Repair or replace any gutters that are damaged

Observe Drainage Systems

The next time there is rain, head outside to check out your home’s drainage systems. Are there any places where water is pooling or the ground is soggy? These are areas where you will want to spend some time improving drainage, since these systems can quickly become overwhelmed when we experience heavy rainfall. Pay particular attention to the areas where the ground meets the house

Stock Up on Sandbags

Sandbags are useful to help divert pooling water around a building, preventing it from coming through it. While they don’t keep out all water, they do keep damage to a minimum. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to buy sandbags, stock up on them now and have them at the ready. Sandbags should be stacked at least a foot high, using a minimum of two to three sandbags

Have an Evacuation Plan

If El Nino is as strong as the experts are predicting, some areas could experience flooding or landslides and an evacuation may be necessary. Plan an exit strategy for your family before the storm hits. Know how to evacuate from each room of your home. Choose a meeting location and designate an out-of-state family member or friend to call if you become separated. Know how to get to higher ground in case you have to leave quickly. Make an emergency go-bag (sometimes called a “bug-out bag”) that you can take with you that contains medications, emergency supplies, copies of insurance cards and other valuable information

The best defense is a good offense. While El Nino can bring excess amounts of rainfall in a short amount of time, being prepared will help to minimize any damage that may occur to your property

More Information

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