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Preparing Your Home and Family for Climate Resilience

I am a professional teacher, writer, researcher, and learner. I always try to learn because there is no age for learning.

Introduction

Preparing your home and family for climate resilience isn’t an easy task, but it’s important to think about now before we experience more frequent or severe weather events brought on by climate change. With a few steps you can take today, you can be more prepared tomorrow when the weather hits unexpectedly and you’re not sure where to turn. To help you out, here are five steps you can take today to help your family prepare for tomorrow’s climate resilience.

Green Trees Near Body of Water

Prepare Yourself Emotionally

Planning for a major life change is tough. Ask yourself: will I be able to make it through (whatever happens), how can I best ensure that my family is cared for after my death, etc... These are tough questions but necessary to address if you want to get through what lies ahead. If you don’t take care of yourself emotionally, then nothing else will matter. Climate change is going to take its toll on you, but it is also an opportunity; seize it by learning everything you can about climate resilience so that when a crisis hits your community, there won’t be any doubt in your mind about what comes next. You’ll have plenty of time later to grieve over all that was lost.

Understand the Basics of Climate Resilience

Before you prepare your home and family, you should get a general understanding of climate resilience. Think about what climate change means to you personally. As an individual, think about how a changing climate could impact your daily life - whether it’s your physical health or mental health, or even if it's more subtle things like food security or access to clean water. To understand how you can be resilient to these impacts, consider what resources would help support you in achieving that outcome. For example, do you need information? Do you need financial assistance? Or do you need community support? If so, who is best placed to provide those resources? How might they be able to help? Understanding your own needs will help guide your decisions when preparing for climate resilience.

Learn How to Use Less Water

The average person uses 100-150 gallons of water per day. That includes taking a shower, drinking a glass of water, flushing the toilet, and everything else. For example, if you save just 1 gallon of water each day, in just three months that’s equivalent to saving around $1,000! With such a direct effect on our wallets as well as water conservation efforts worldwide, there are easy ways to cut back without having to feel like you’re cutting back. Here are some tips As part of their daily routine, consider washing their hands with only water instead of soap—especially when they have already washed them with soap at school or after playing outside. This is an excellent way to get kids into making small changes that add up over time. Plus, it makes hand washing more fun! As you can see above, conserving water can be a simple change—but one that has a significant impact.

Take Steps to Keep Cool in Summer

The largest killer during extreme heat is not necessarily heating exhaustion or heat stroke but rather related to our body's failure to regulate temperature. Our bodies can only cool themselves to a certain point; when that threshold is reached, it doesn't matter if you have ice packs, take cold showers, or drink plenty of fluids. Once that threshold is reached death can occur quickly as with any other temperature-related illness. To lower risk and keep cool in summer: drink more water (to help regulate internal temperature), spend time in air-conditioned spaces (including automobiles), plan on hot days (if possible), stay hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothes/light colors, limit physical activity/workload during peak heat hours, take frequent breaks outside.

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Bright Sky with Fluffy Clouds

Build Your Food Reserves Now

While you may not be able to prevent natural disasters, you can take steps to minimize their impact on your life. One way to do that is by building a stash of food. Buy extra items when they’re on sale or in-season—or better yet, grow them yourself! Talk with friends or neighbors about forming a local food network; it doesn’t have to be anything formal (perhaps just asking if they want an extra bag of spinach from your garden), but doing so could save you when disaster strikes. You never know what will happen next, but there are ways to prepare for anything—and working together makes preparation that much easier. What natural disasters are prevalent in your area? How would they affect you and your loved ones?

Crop Faceless Woman Plating Seeding into Soil

Take Action to Reduce Storm Risks

Storms are more intense than ever, with storms like Sandy costing billions of dollars in destruction. For coastal states and local governments to rebuild smarter, they need better information about what is happening during hurricanes so they can build homes that can survive another storm. For example, constructing buildings so they can withstand floods or wind is not just a good idea—it's a smart one. (from The City Project) To help people prepare their homes and families for climate resilience start by educating them on ways they can reduce their risks while providing local resources when disasters occur. Start with your community’s latest Coastal Risk Report - a survey of projected flood risk to homes throughout the US.

Decide if you will Ride Out Storms at Home or Flee to a Shelter

If you live in an area that’s prone to storms, floods, or other natural disasters, learn how to prepare yourself (and your property) so you don’t have to escape. Create a safe room in your house where people can gather while storms rage outside; stock it with food, water, first aid supplies, flashlights/batteries, and extra clothing. Teach everyone in your family how to turn off main utilities if necessary. Consider storing copies of vital documents on an external hard drive—you can keep it at work (or another location), where it will be safe from floodwaters or fire damage if your house is destroyed. Learn about local evacuation routes, shelters, and disaster response teams so you know what to do when disaster.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ghulam Nabi Memon

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