Lets Talk Texas Weather
We have vastly different climates and topographical marvels through our state, but the one thing we can always count on is the weather.
Not that it is predictable. On the contrary, Texas weather is one of the most studied geographical locations in the US due to its unpredictability. With arid/dry climates in the western part of the state, fronts that dip down from the Rockies/Canada meet little to no resistance until the hill country and then on to the pine curtain. Those fronts are reinforced by the many water sources and warm moisture coming up from the gulf. This generally puts us in the epicenter of massive storm buildups that happen extremely rapidly.
As seen a few weeks ago, even a small front that spawns a couple of tornadoes here and there can have devastating effects on rural communities. The picture to the right is some of the devastation of the tornadoes in Alto, Texas.
Hurricanes are an entire other matter.
Sometimes, like in the case of Hurricane Harvey, these storms get stuck between other systems and spin for days, dumping enormous amounts of rain over that period leading to widespread flooding. Sure, it was an anomaly that we hadn't witnessed in modern meteorology, but it could quickly happen again any where on the gulf coast.
Other Hurricane systems, like Ike and Rita, move rather quickly and are nothing more than a "little wind and a few showers" (In East Texan that describes downed trees, roof damage and significant flooding). But don't let me minimize the devastation caused by those storms.
Your primary concern should always be the well being of yourself and your family. However, if you haven't done the following steps to secure your property and have a bit of piece of mind, please feel free to set some goals before the next storm hits.
How Do We Do That?
First, you should always have pictures of your property BEFORE it is damaged. Shocker I know, but you need to be able to prove that there was no prior damage to the building or land when presenting it to your insurance rep. They may not ask for it, but you can save a lot of headache if you have that in your possession. This is especially important with roofs on your buildings, be that commercial or domestic.
Second, why not get yourself a generator? In the document “Ready for Hurricane Season” written by our own Professional Engineer Justin Fenley, he discusses the positive nature that having a generator can have on your home and business. Click Here for More Information
Third, make sure you have the essentials. Even with the tornadoes a few weeks back, power was knocked out in several locations for days. So, make sure you have the following items in an emergency bag to keep yourself and your family safe:
1) Water – You can’t live without it. Oh, and surprise, it needs to be clean. You could also have one of these nifty water purifying devices.
2) Food – Just get some beanie weenies and wolf chili. But seriously, stock up on some MRE’s
3) First Aid – Anyone with kids will tell you, you might as well invest in one of these kits
4) Charge Unit for phones – They are relatively inexpensive now, so you have no excuse to run out of juice
5) Documents – ID’s, Passports, etc. Doesn’t have to be the original, just a copy
6) Flash Light – To save juice on your phone, get you a nice LED flashlight and keep it in easy reach
7) Work Clothing – Pants, boots, gloves, seasonal shirt, and a few pairs of socks.
8) Blanket or sleeping bag – Just in case your home doesn’t make it, it’s good to be prepared to stretch out other places
9) Medications – Ironically, most people forget to keep a stash of their heart, cholesterol or anti-depressants. Rest assure, if those things are missing for more than a few days, the storm was the least of your worries
10) Other Stuff- Toilet Paper, contact solution, extra pair of glasses, deodorant
Now...you wait. This blog is in no way meant to scare you, just to educate. There is always a storm on the horizon. Whether it hits your city or a neighbor’s, being prepared with the above should allow you some piece of mind, both physically and financially.
Stay safe out there.