Summer is nearly here in Encinitas, and with it comes the usual dry season we’re all used to. However, just because the rainy season is behind us, that doesn’t mean residents of Encinitas should be any less prepared for summer storms. With experts predicting a return of El Niño, we should all take extra precautions this summer to prepare for storms. I have put together a list of things Encinitas residents can do to make sure they’re ready.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
There’s nothing quite as frustrating as losing power and realizing you aren’t prepared. Everyone should have an emergency kit prepared in case a storm occurs before you’re able to get to a store. A good emergency kit should contain flashlights, batteries, candles, matches or a lighter, a portable radio, and a first aid kit. If you’re worried the storm may last longer than a few hours, having a supply of food and water set aside is also a good idea.
Your emergency kit should be kept somewhere it will be easy to retrieve even in the dark. Its contents should be checked regularly to make sure everything works properly, especially before an announced storm strikes. If you have children, make sure they know the location of the kit and what it contains in case a storm happens while you’re away.
Staying up-to-date with local weather forecasts will help give you an idea of what to expect on a daily to weekly basis. Most popular weather apps have the ability to alert users of any breaking weather conditions right on their phones. It’s also important to distinguish the difference between a storm “watch” and a storm “warning.” A watch means that a storm is possible within the timeframe of the watch. A warning means that a storm is occurring now, or very soon.
However even when the forecast seems clear, if the weather looks like it could take a turn for the worst, you may want to rearrange your plans in order to stay close to home.
Itemize Personal Property
It’s a good idea to keep an itemized list of personal property, such as furniture, antiques, and other valuables. This can help insurance adjusters process any claims you need to file more quickly in case of storm damage. It’s also advised to keep photographic proof of your belongings, along with photos of your home’s exterior and any relevant receipts in a secure, waterproof container.
Have an Evacuation Plan
Knowing the safest and fastest route from your home to a recommended evacuation site could save lives. Make sure you and everyone in your home knows where to go in case of an emergency evacuation, and multiple ways to get there in the event that roads are closed or inaccessible. And if an evacuation order is issued, please do not ignore it. Remember, your home and belongings can be replaced, but the lives of you and your family cannot.