The El Niño forecast for 2015 is expected to be one of the strongest on record, according
to Mike Halpert, the deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center, part of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). There are predictions it could bring as much as
35 inches of rain during the upcoming winter season in some part of California. Confidence
continues to grow that this El Niño will be one of the strongest we have experienced over
the past 50 years, and California will be much more active weather-wise this winter than last
winter, according to Accuweather Meteorologists.
No Need To Panic, But You Need To Take Action
The time to get prepared is NOW! The more prepared you are before El Niño arrives the
better you and your home can withstand this winters El Niño storms, and getting
prepared is simple: inspect your home, take the proper actions, and have the right tools
on hand. Once the rain starts falling is not the time to go to the hardware store for your
Actions To Take
Inspect Your Home
Start with the roof, making sure it is clear of debris that can cause water to puddle. Look
for loose or missing shingles, and secure or replace them. Check for roof leaks by looking
for water spots or yellowish discolored paint on ceilings inside, and repair any leaks you
find. Check for gaps or loose flashing around chimneys and other roof intrusions. Repair
trouble spots with roof patch and leak seal materials.
If your roof has gutters, clean them out. Make sure they work and keep them clear during
the storm. An inch of rain adds up to 600 gallons per 1,000 square feet of roof, so consider
installing removable downspout adapters and flexible drain coils to the gutters
downspouts to direct water away from your homes foundation. You can also redirect
rainwater into a rain barrel or collection system for future use.
Check around your doors and windows, repairing any bad or missing weather-stripping
and leaks to keep the rain outside. Caulking also helps keep heat indoors and cold,
wet weather out.
Know the locations of your gas and water shut-off valves. Shut-off tools, available
at home centers and hardware stores, attach to your systems in case of an emergency
and are easy to use.
Keep waterproof tarps, with enough rope to secure them in place, and buckets on hand.
Buckets should be your last resort for leaks, but they sure are handy when you need
Most homeowners insurance policies dont cover flooding. If you think your
home is at risk of flooding this winter, now is the time to buy flood insurance, said
Humilde. Policies take 30 days to go into effect, she added. Policies that cover building
and contents cost less than $500 a year, she said. The
includes information about flood insurance and links to insurance agents.
Residents can identify their flood risk by entering their addresses at the governments