Do you know which natural disasters can occur in your area? Do you know which could directly affect your home?
The answers to these questions might seem obvious to you, but when I first moved to my current state, I wasn’t aware of the threats to my home here. I’d never lived in a hurricane-prone state. Thus, I wasn’t aware of the importance – BEFORE buying a home – of checking to see what the “flood zones” were and what the “evacuation zones” were that could impact the house I’d fallen in love with.
I was clueless. I’d grown up in the arid southwestern portion of the United States. In fact, I remember as a child having lessons, over and over and over again in my elementary school, of what to do if lost in the desert. By the time I was ten I knew always to have a cup and Saran Wrap with me. Why? Because if stuck in the desert, I could dig a hole, place a cup in it, and then cover it with plastic wrap. Then I would place the final touches by securing the plastic wrap on all sides with little pebbles and putting a little bit of dirt in the middle of the plastic (like an inverted teepee). Why? So that the heat of the day would force condensation to build up underneath the plastic wrap. With the plastic “weighted” and thereby sunken in the middle, the condensation would roll to the center and fall off into the open-mouthed cup below. Voila! Water to drink till help arrived.
We also were taught in elementary school which of the many forms of desert cactus were edible on the inside – some even (apparently) being tasty. Fortunately I never needed to find out if these safety tips worked, because I never strayed into the desert. I didn’t want to find out!
But my point is, would a family with small children moving into the arid Southwestern portion of the U.S. know these skills? Thus, when my husband and I moved our family across the U.S. to the eastern border of the U.S., I was clueless as to these kinds of secret safety tips the eastern U.S. natives grew up with.
Thus, after buying a home in the southeast, only then did I find out about evacuation zones – so important if in case the dreaded hurricanes actually turmoiled through our area. To my relief, my home ended up being in a Zone C – could be worse, could be better. At least it wasn’t an A (means forced evacuation for ALL hurricanes).
When you understand the local threats, you can prepare for them. And you know what they say – knowledge is power …
… Well, “knowledge is power” only if you do something with it, but I think you know that!