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How to Prepare for stormy weather in the desert.
There are not tons of rainy days and thunder storms out here in the desert, but the ones we do get are big ones. It is important to take some time when the season comes for storms to get your homestead ready for the coming challenges.
First things first, make sure your animals are all set. Check that their food and water are under cover so they can access it comfortably, while you are doing that make sure they have enough so that you don’t have to go out in a microburst to feed. You will want to make sure that all the animal houses are in good shade to provide the shelter that your critters will need in the high winds and pouring rains. While checking the condition of the animal houses take a look at all of the fences that secure them, if there are weak spots you will what to fix them.
The animals are all taken care of and ready to ride out the storm, so go and look around all of your property for weak branches or anything else that could fall in the high winds and land on things like your house, a shed, an animal enclosure, or overhead lines. If you see anything that is questionable go ahead and knock it down yourself taking care not to let the hazards hit anything important. Trust me the wind doesn’t care if a large tree limb gets blown on to your garage and destroys it.
With all overhead dangers taken care of move on to the things laying around the yard, I know we all pick up everything right after we use it…….. well sometimes we do. Put your shovels and rakes in a tool shed, if you don’t have one try to secure the items the best you can. Take down any umbrellas, put up lawn furniture, pick up any kids play toys if you have any in the yard. The idea is to remove any chance of something blowing into a window. A broken window is no fun to deal with any time but it is far worse to deal with while its pouring down rain, and the wind is blowing like crazy. Also, if you have anything like a trampoline, or swing sets you want to take a few minutes to make sure that they are secured down, imagine one landing on your car or truck, that would be a costly repair.
Walk your property and look at the path that water flows, see if there is any chance that erosion will get the better of you. I have seen a six inch ditch turn into a three foot ditch after just one storm. Be sure that if you have drainage channels, they are clean and clear so the water will run in the areas you want it to. If there is any blockage clear it, if the water can’t get through it will find another path or can carve a path where ever it is easiest.
After the outside is all taken care of turn your attention to your home, I would do this last because you can do this while its raining and not get sopping wet. Check your windows and doors for leaks, it may be a good idea to check the roof too just to be safe. You don’t want anything getting ruined. Its a good idea to unplug expensive electronics such as computers and TVs to protect from power surges. Make a plan for if the power fails. If your house is all electric, then you may not have a way to prepare food. So have a back up around like a camp stove or something of that nature. For the most part power failures of this kind are short lived and fairly easy to deal with.
If you absolutely need electricity, I mean for things like life saving medical equipment not video games and TV, have a back up battery bank setup, they are not to expensive and can be put together rather easily. I did a write up and how to build an easy backup battery system at this link. If you cant go with out the power then just make sure that you build one big enough to suite your needs. Aside from that make sure you have plenty of flashlights and batteries around, it sure makes it nice if you can see when you need to.
So after all your prepping is done sit back and relax, get a drink, maybe play a game of cards with the family. Just be sure to keep an eye out so if you missed something, you can fix it before there is a huge problem. Stay safe and dry.