Climate & Disaster- Preparing for the Worst

Preparing for climate change often focuses on the steps you can do to mitigate your environmental impact or on what systemic steps will be required to make a meaningful transition away from fossil fuels towards a cleaner energy future. These are important issues, but there is another aspect of climate change that often goes unaddressed that I want to discuss with you all today. How should we prepare for climate disasters?

Natural disasters aren’t anything new. Tornadoes, floods, wildfires, hurricanes, and so many other hazards are an unfortunate part of life.  However, climate change is projected to increase both the frequency and intensity of such hazards. This means you might be faced with an unexpected flood or storms far stronger than you have experienced in the past. With this in mind, it is important to take steps to make sure you are safe should one of these hazards strike in your community.

The most important step you can take is to familiarize yourself with what dangerous weather hazards are common in your community. The National Weather Service has many resources that can help one learn about what types of storms or other dangers are common to an area. More importantly, these resources also provide information about how to prepare for such events, what the warning signs might be, and how to protect yourself during and after such an event.  I would highly recommend checking out Weather Ready Nation to get more information like this[1].

In a more immediate sense, it’s also wise to consider what supplies and tools you can have on hand in order to prepare for severe weather. A basic weather radio is a commonly suggested tool for those living in Tornado Alley. It’s also wise to keep a basic cache of essential supplies for times of extreme weather. Bandages, a small store of clean water (jugs are a common choice), some non perishable food, weather proof matches, etc. You never know when you might be out of power or in a bind for a few days, so keeping these basics can really help make a difference.

Lastly, its wise to consider more specialized materials based on the weather hazards you might face. For example, with climate change making hurricanes more severe and frequent, it may be wise to familiarize yourself and your family with hurricane evacuation routes. For those in places prone to tornadoes, practice safety drills may be a good step. Those vulnerable to fire may want to be familiar with their evacuation routes, as with hurricanes, or work on developing a go-back, just in case. Of course, investing in portable solar rechargers for electronics so you can continue to access information is never a bad choice either.

In summary, climate change may make natural hazards more dangerous, but you can still take steps to be prepared. These steps don’t have to come at the cost of personal steps to reduce and recycle either. So keeping these tips in mind can help you both protect the environment, and yourself.

 

[1] https://www.weather.gov/wrn/

3 Quick Tips for Protecting the Environment and Your Wallet

Green plant in shape of dollar sign grows at green field. Nature landscape with summer meadow and blue sky. Friendly ecosystem for business and investment. Banking and foreign exchange market.

Climate Change and pollution often dominate the conversation around the environment and can appear to be large and intimidating problems. This doesn’t mean one is powerless to make a difference. We would like to share 3 tips we have found to be exceptionally helpful for protecting our environment while also helping to pad your pocket book. These tips may seem obvious to some, but a surprising number of people overlook these simple ideas to help make a personal difference with environmental and financial benefits!

  1. Consider a thermos instead of using bottled water:  Bottled water has become a popular go to solution for staying hydrated on the go. But unfortunately this convenience comes at the cost of an extensive contribution to plastic pollution and worse, often uses water sourced from places that are significantly water insecure. Instead, consider investing in a simple thermos and using it while on the go. The costs of water from the tap are far below the distorted costs of bottled water and will quickly make up for the cost of a few thermoses.

Some quick math show’s how quickly this environmentally friendly shift can benefit you. A basic thermos can cost anywhere from $15 to $30. In contrast, a 24 pack of bottled water will cost you a little over $5 (though many places may cost more). If you consume a single bottle a day, you will spend on average about $6.25 a month. At this rate, a thermos would begin to save you over the long term in as little as 2 and a half months, last far longer, and not contribute to the problem of plastic pollution. And with a recent report finding less than 6% of plastic is recycled in the US[1], this can be a good first step for addressing plastic pollution in your community.

2)A home rotary fan: It gets hot in the summer and turning up the a/c is perhaps the most soothing way to deal with this problem. Unfortunately air-conditioning can be a very expensive service, and lead to significant spikes in your power bill. Worse still, the energy consumption of cities worth of such devices can strain local power grids, leading to brown outs or leading to significantly increased emissions from unclean fossil fuel based power plants. A simple rotary fan can sometimes be sufficient for helping to reduce ones energy consumption without forgoing the ability to cool off during the hot summer months.

3) A home garden: While a fun hobby for some, growing your own food can be both a fun way to help the environment while also protecting your wallet from the challenges of inflation. From backyards full of rows upon rows of vegetables, to the simple 2 pots of tomatoes on the back porch; growing food in a local garden can help you save money while mitigating the environmental impacts of relying upon food transported hundreds (or even thousands)  of miles from farm to plate.

 

 

[1] https://www.beyondplastics.org/press-releases/the-real-truth-about-plastics-recycling

“Insulate it Forward”

Simulations Foundation is actively working on the project “Insulate it Forward.” Our first identified house is the one shown here.  It was damaged by Hurrican Michael and bought by a single mother, first time  home owner.  The idea is to use local help from churches or civic organizations to provide the labor and then find funding to pay for the physical insulations.  This project is well on its way.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact us.

Remote Sensing

One of our board directors is a scientist/professor Dr. Chandana Mitra.  She is a Climatologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences, Auburn University.  She is part of a team that runs the Alabama Environment Awareness Channel. They are part of “Amverica View” with funding from the U.S. Geological Society.  We recommend you subscribe to their channel as they are continually updating the channel with additional simulations relative to earth remote sensing.

Tornado Hits Panama City

On March 18, 2022 a tornado struck the area between Panama City and Lynn Haven.  Simulations Foundation helped the local non-profit participate, Mission 850, in cleanup efforts. There was a lot of damage but no one was injured. 

Hurricane Ida – August 2021

 

Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana on August 29, 2021, as a Category 4 with winds of 150 mph.  Simulations Foundation supported the clean up efforts of Mission 850, a non-profit based in Panama City Florida. We went to New Orleans to help from October 1-3.  Our hats off to Mission 850 who put together multile runs from Panama City to New Orleans to provide help cleaning up after the hurricane.

 

 

in Resident looking at the remains of his collapsed home after Hurricane Ida struck New Orleans, Louisiana on August 30, 2021 [Michael DeMocker/USA TODAY Network via Reuters]