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El Niño 2023 - Homeowner Tips

August 31, 2023


El Niño 2023 - Homeowner Tips

Weather models are showing that 2023 could bring an El Nino, so it's best to prepare your home now so you're not caught off-guard! For the Bay Area, El Niño generally means a wetter winter with more low-pressure systems over the West Coast.

El Niño can lead to chaotic and harmful weather, especially along the west coast of the U.S. and in tropical areas. When combined with the long-term warming trend, the effects are even more pronounced, resulting in a "one-two punch" of adverse weather conditions. 

To prepare for El Niño in the Bay Area, here are some recommended steps:

  1. Inspect your property: Check for any signs of wear or vulnerabilities in your home, such as roof leaks or weak retaining walls. Addressing these issues before the onset of heavy rainfall can help prevent further damage. Now is the time.
  2. Stay informed: Keep track of weather forecasts and updates from reliable sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or local news stations. This will help you stay prepared for any potential impacts.
  3. Check your insurance: Ensure that your home and property are properly insured, including coverage for potential flood damage. Review your policy to understand what is covered and consider making any necessary adjustments. Keep in mind many policies do not cover issues caused by roofs that are not properly maintained. Be sure to understand those sections.
  4. Have an emergency plan: Create a plan in case of flooding or other disasters. This includes knowing evacuation routes, having emergency supplies on hand, and establishing a communication plan with family members or neighbors. This is especially essential if you live in a flood or landslide zone.
  5. Stock up on essentials: As El Niño can bring heavy rainfall and potential disruptions, it's a good idea to stock up on food, water, batteries, and other essential supplies. This will help you stay prepared in case of power outages or limited access to stores.
  6. Clear debris and maintain drainage: This is a simple but potentially huge tip. Clear any debris from gutters, downspouts, and drains to ensure proper water flow. This can help prevent flooding and water damage around your property. Clogged drains can wreak havoc on properties, causing huge problems.
  7. Secure outdoor items: Secure or store any outdoor furniture, equipment, or loose items that could be damaged or blown away by strong winds or heavy rain. Airborne patio furniture, umbrellas, and other items can cause great harm to people, automobiles, or properties. 
  8. Consult an Arborist: If your property has a lot of trees, consider having an arborist inspect them. They can identify weak or vulnerable branches (or entire trees, for that matter) that might break off during heavy winds or rains, ensuring the safety of your home and surroundings.
  9. Be cautious on the roads: During periods of heavy rainfall, avoid driving through flooded areas. It can be difficult to determine the depth of the water or what lies beneath the surface. Despite the number of Teslas you've seen driving through flooded waters on the internet, this is not a good idea. 

Remember, not every El Niño is the same; some are more intense and others less so. Per a recent SF Chronicle article, the odds are 25% that the 2023 El Nino will be a severe one. Either way, it's best to be prepared so you can minimize damage or deterioration of your property. Remember... if you stay ready you don't have to get ready!

-Your Friends at Artemis

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