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Disaster Preparedness: Drought Disaster Plan

Master Disaster Checklist

If you want to keep your property, family, pets, and business safe during natural disasters, it’s important to be prepared. This master checklist gives you a good foundation for what to do, what to have, and what to plan for.

  • Secure Contact Information: Make sure you have a printed out copy as the power may be out and you might not have access to your computer or documents. Include names and telephone numbers, as well as out-of-town friends or family who might be able to help you. It’s important to have an out-of-town friend listed because your friends who live in your town might not be able to help you if a disaster affected them, too. Additionally, prearrange a nearby meet-up place after the emergency. It could be the local high school, a relative’s home, or a grocery store.
  • Have a Plan: Make sure that all of your family knows about your disaster plan (escape routes, where the emergency kit is stored, who to contact, and what to do in case of a natural disaster).
    • Identify a Safe Room: Point out which room is the safest room in your home. This should be an interior room without windows, if possible (maybe a closet or a bathroom). This is the place your family should seek shelter when storm warnings are issued.
  • Stay Informed: Make sure that you have a portable radio with fully charged batteries so that you can get the latest up-to-date information about the disaster. If you are in the path of the disaster, go to your pre-designated shelter area immediately.
  • Take Photos/Video of Your Property: If you have an inventory of your valuables and possessions you are likely to be able to claim up to 20% more insurance than if you don’t. Taking photos and videos with your cell phone is an easy way to document your items. Be sure to upload all the images to secure cloud backup and not just store on your property.
  • Charge Electronic Devices: During a disaster, you may lose power. Ensure your cell phone is fully charged, along with other electronic devices like tablets and laptop computers. Also, think about purchasing a solar-powered backup charging device.
  • Get Cash: When the power goes out, ATM machines won’t work. Get plenty of one dollar bills because not many people will have change for twenty and hundred dollar bills. Try to aim for ones, fives, and tens.
  • Fill Up on Gas: Fill your gas tank. When the power goes out, gas pumps won’t work.
  • Disaster Supplies Kit: A disaster supplies kit is essential to keeping you and your family safe. It should include non-perishable food, water, medical supplies, clothes, pet food and supplies, medications, batteries, flashlights, etc. Consider the following list: 
    • Flashlight
    • Batteries
    • First Aid Kits: For $20, you can have medical supply basics — all in one place — and ready to use. Minor as well as major injuries are possible during an earthquake and it’s possible that emergency services will be overwhelmed, so having a first aid kit is essential.
    • Solar Cell Phone Charger: Solar powered charges start in the mid-$20 range and go up from there. The best selling Amazon solar charger is $60 and is fast with “industrial-strength PET polymer faced solar panels sewn into a rugged polyester canvas offer weather-resistant outdoor durability.” If the power goes out, you might have no other way to charge your phone.
    • Crank-Powered Radio: You can pay upwards of $100 for a decent crank radio, but you don’t have to spend that much. The best-selling Amazon crank radio is only $20!
    • Emergency Water Filter: There’s no need for an expensive filtration system. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter has 5,000 reviews and is only $20! The LifeStraw “removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters to 0.2 microns; surpasses EPA filter standards.”
    • Bottled Water (minimum of three gallons for each member of your family)
    • Battery-Powered Radio
    • Battery-Powered Lantern
    • Emergency Food Supply
    • Can Opener
    • Basic Tools (utility knife, pliers, wrench, tape, compass)
    • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, toilet paper)
    • Pencils and Paper
    • Pet Supplies (food, litter)
    • Rain Gear
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Change of Clothes
    • Plastic Garbage Bags
    • Face Masks
    • Gloves
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Cleaning Wipes
  • Have a “Go Bag”: Having an emergency bag packed with essentials (food, clothes, toiletries, cash, etc.) can save you time in a crisis. P.S. A little bit of toilet paper goes a long way…
  • Gather Your Important Papers: Keep all special papers and photographs in a watertight container or plastic bag. You know, all of those important things like bank account papers, birth certificates, property deeds, medical cards, social security cards, etc. as well as photos and important keepsakes which can never be replaced. During a disaster, they could all be ruined and washed away forever in one whoosh!
    • Identification (copy of driver’s license or passport)
    • Insurance Policies
    • Birth Certificates
    • Marriage Certificates
    • Proof of Residence (copy of lease, mortgage documents)
    • Deeds or Wills
    • Tax Returns
    • Social Security Cards
  • Plan for Your Pets: Many hotels and motels won’t accommodate your pets, so if your plan is to evacuate to a hotel, then you’ll need to find them a safe boarding kennels or cattery which is outside of the disaster’s impact zone. Be sure you have plenty of your pet’s preferred food and whatever medications they might need.
  • Refill Your Medications: Make sure that you have plenty of your prescription medicines on hand. If a disaster hits your area, the last thing you want to worry about is a medical emergency. 
  • Disaster Insurance: Check your insurance coverage as part of your disaster preparedness plan. Many home insurance policies do not cover hazards like flooding caused by hurricanes, for example. If you live in a disaster-prone area, consider getting insurance to cover damages.
  • Have a Plan for After the Disaster: After a disaster, get out of town until emergency services and law enforcement have gotten control of the situation. Unfortunately, like many other disaster situations, there are people who will try to take advantage of the chaos. It’s best to avoid being in the disaster zone until things are under control.

Disaster Preparedness: Drought Disaster Plan

I am writing this post because I want you to know how to prepare for a water shortage or drought. It is always good to be prepared and even better if we can share with others what is helpful in our everyday lives, so they may also prepare themselves as well.

This article will list 53 ways that you can reduce your water consumption, conserve it, or use less of it in the long run for whatever reason might apply (our home needs preparing now).

 

What is a Drought?

A drought is a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water.

Causes: Drought can be caused by a variety of factors, including weather patterns, climate change, and human activity.

Effects: Drought can lead to water shortages, crop failures, and increased wildfires.

How to Prepare: There are a number of things you can do to prepare for a drought, including conserving water, using less water, and planting drought-resistant plants.

Drought Preparedness & Water Conservation

Drought is a period of abnormally dry weather that persists long enough to produce serious hydrological imbalances. Droughts can last for months or even years, and can have devastating effects on both the environment and the economy.

 

Water Conservation Methods

There are many ways to conserve water, and each one of us can make a difference. Here are some simple tips to get you started:

  • Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth. This can save up to 6 litres (1.6 gallons) of water per day.
  • Take shorter showers. A shower uses about 10 litres (2.6 gallons) of water per minute, so cutting your shower time by even a minute can save you a lot of water over time.
  • Fix leaky taps and pipes as soon as possible – a single dripping tap can waste up to 30 litres (7 gallons) of water per day!
  • Don’t let the tap run while you’re washing dishes – fill up one sink with soapy water and rinse in the other sink. This can save up to 20 litres (5 gallons) of water per dishwashing session.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk – this can save up to 300 litres (80 gallons) of water per session.
  • Water your plants during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or evening. This will help reduce evaporation and water loss.
  • Use a rain barrel or other type of water catchment system to collect rainwater for watering your plants. This can save hundreds or even thousands of litres (gallons) of water over the course of a season.
  • Install low-flow fixtures such as showerheads and taps in your home. These fixtures can save up to 30% on your indoor water use.

How to Prepare for a Drought

Droughts can have a devastating impact on both people and ecosystems, so it’s important to be prepared. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for a drought:

  • Know the signs of drought in your area so you can be prepared if conditions start to deteriorate.
  • Have an emergency plan in place in case you need to evacuate due to extreme drought conditions.
  • Store extra drinking water in case tap water becomes unavailable or contaminated during a drought. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 days’ worth of drinking water per person in your household stored away.
  • If you have a well, have it professionally inspected and serviced regularly to ensure it’s in good working order.
  • If drought conditions are forecast, take steps to conserve water in your home and garden.
  • Keep an eye on local news and weather reports for updates on the drought situation.

 

What You Can Do Now to Prepare for a Drought

  1. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk.
  2. Group plants together based on their water needs.
  3. Water your plants during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or evening.
  4. Put a layer of mulch around your plants to reduce evaporation.
  5. Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater for watering your plants or garden.
  6. Fix any leaks in your home, such as dripping faucets or leaking pipes.

 

How to Prepare and Survive the Worst Drought

The United States Drought Monitor (USDM) is the official drought information center for the nation. The USDM defines drought as “a period of abnormally dry weather that persists long enough to cause serious hydrologic imbalances.”

Droughts can be caused by a variety of factors, including lack of rainfall, excessive heat, and evaporation. They can also be the result of human activities, such as water mismanagement or overuse.

Droughts can have a significant impact on agriculture, water supplies, energy production, and public health. They can also lead to social and economic disruptions.

Preparing for a Bad Drought

There are a number of things you can do to prepare for a drought:

  1. Know your water sources: Make sure you know where your water comes from and how it is delivered to your home or business. This will help you understand how a drought could impact your water supply.
  2. Reduce your water use: One of the best ways to prepare for a drought is to reduce your overall water use. This includes simple things like turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth or watering your plants during cooler hours of the day when evaporation is less likely.
  3. Collect rainwater: If you live in an area that receives regular rainfall, consider collecting rainwater. This can be done with a simple rain barrel or more sophisticated system. Collected rainwater can be used for watering plants or cleaning.
  4. Use drought-tolerant plants: If you are landscaping or gardening, choose plants that are drought-tolerant. These plants require less water and are more likely to survive during periods of dry weather.
  5. Install water-saving fixtures: Water-saving fixtures, such as low-flow toilets and showerheads, can help reduce your overall water use. These fixtures are often available at a discount from your local utility company.
  6. Check for leaks: Leaks can waste a lot of water, so it’s important to check for them regularly and repair them promptly when they are found.
  7. Have a plan: Make sure you have a plan in place in case of an extended drought. This plan should include things like where you will get alternative sources of water and how you will conserve water use.

 

Invest in High-Efficiency Appliances

High-efficiency appliances are those that have been designed to use less water and energy than traditional models.

How much they cost: The cost of high-efficiency appliances varies depending on the type and brand, but generally speaking, they tend to be more expensive than traditional models.

How much they save: High-efficiency appliances can save you a significant amount of money on your utility bills over the long run. In some cases, they can even pay for themselves in just a few years.

 

Repair Any Leaks

If your faucet is dripping, you may be able to fix it yourself without having to call a plumber. First, try tightening the packing nut under the handle. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the washer.

Fixing a leaky toilet: If your toilet is leaking, you’ll need to determine whether the leak is coming from the tank or the bowl. If it’s coming from the tank, you’ll need to replace the flush valve seal. If it’s coming from the bowl, you may need to replace the flapper or flush valve assembly.

 

Install Rain Collection Systems

A rain collection system is a way to collect and store rainwater for future use.

How it Works: Rainwater is collected from rooftops or other surfaces and stored in tanks or barrels. The water can then be used for irrigation, cleaning, or other purposes.

Benefits: Using a rain collection system can help reduce your water bill, as well as your environmental impact. Additionally, collected rainwater is often of better quality than water from the tap.

Cost: The cost of a rain collection system will vary depending on the size and type of system you choose. However, many systems are relatively affordable and can pay for themselves over time in savings on your water bill.

How to Install: Installing a rain collection system is generally not difficult, but it is important to follow the instructions that come with your particular system. In general, you will need to install gutters and downspouts on your roof, as well as a storage tank or barrel beneath the downspouts.

 

Prepare Your Livestock

  • Beef cattle: 30-40 gallons of water per day
  • Dairy cows: 40-60 gallons of water per day
  • Sheep: 5-10 gallons of water per day
  • Goats: 5-8 gallons of water per day
  • Hogs: 10-15 gallons of water per day
  • Chickens: 3/4 to 1 gallon of water per chicken per day

Ways to reduce water consumption in livestock:

  1. Use automatic waterers and drinkers that are designed to reduce spillage.
  2. Place waterers in shady areas to minimize evaporation.
  3. Use a watering system that allows you to recycle greywater from other sources on your farm, such as washing milk buckets or cleaning the barn floor.
  4. Collect rainwater from roofs and gutters to use for watering livestock or crops.
  5. If you must haul water, do so during cooler hours of the day to minimize evaporation from open tanks and troughs

 

How Often Have Communities Been Affected by Droughts in the Past?

Droughts can happen anytime and anyplace. They have been occurring since the beginning of time, and will continue to do so into the future.

Severity: Droughts can be extremely severe, causing widespread damage to crops, livestock and humans.

Duration: Droughts can last for months or even years, depending on the severity.

Impacts: Droughts can cause major problems for communities, including water shortages, food shortages and economic hardship.

What Areas of the Community Were Most Affected?

Drought conditions can have a devastating effect on crops and livestock. Farmers may be forced to reduce their herds or plant less acreage. They may also have to deal with increased costs for irrigation water and feed.

Commercial: Businesses that rely on water for their operations, such as car washes, laundromats, and restaurants, may have to make changes in order to conserve water. This could include instituting water-saving measures, such as using low-flow fixtures or only washing dishes during certain hours of the day.

Industrial: Factories that use large amounts of water in their manufacturing process may need to find ways to reduce their consumption. This could involve using recycled water or investing in new technology that uses less water.

 

What Are Economic Impacts of Droughts?

A drought can have a severe economic impact on the area. Farmers lose crops, businesses close, and people lose their jobs. A drought can also increase the cost of water and lead to rationing.

Water Usage: A drought can lead to a decrease in water usage. People can conserve water by using less water for showers, laundry, and watering their lawns. They can also install low-flow toilets and showerheads to save water.

 

Conclusion

There are a lot of ways that you can reduce, conserve, and use less water. Some of them are easy and some of them take a little bit more effort. But every little bit counts when it comes to saving our water resources. So start today and see how much of a difference you can make.

 


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