Worse than Expected
Recent headlines revealed that the impacts of climate change are even worse than initially expected. It comes as no surprise to me that researchers’ climate change models were wrong. Anticipating weather events is difficult enough, but attempting to predict the speed, scale, and effects of such a dynamic and complex phenomenon as global warming is borderline arrogant. While I completely support researchers’ efforts, I think it is impossible to truly understand the harm we are causing in continuing to warm the globe.
It’s imperative we change our behaviors if we want to improve the conditions in which we live. Countless papers, blog posts, articles, books, and speeches have been written about these necessary behavioral changes, so I won’t expand any further on this point. That said, we must also adapt to our current situation and expect this situation to get worse before it gets better.
Storms are getting stronger, temperatures are climbing, and diseases are spreading more rapidly. These three realities are all intertwined and result from the changing climate. Collective action is needed to stem these problems, though with the current state of global affairs, that prospect seems hopelessly optimistic. We therefore need to prepare for disastrous scenarios as a means of better ensuring our own survival. Escape plans, bug-out bags, and secured locations all serve as insurance policies against the tragedy of the commons that we are living through. By making thoughtful, forward-looking decisions now, we can live our lives with more confidence in our safety.
What to Do?
Many of the suggestions for preparation I’ve written on Bunker Basics apply to adapting to a warming world. There are, however, some specific risk mitigation strategies we can implement to secure our homes. Building secure living spaces can help protect against catastrophic weather events such as storms, fires, and floods.
Strong wind gusts and heavy rain or snow can severely damage your home. While on the more impractical end, the Spider Tie Concrete Wall Forming System is an innovative building method that makes your home nearly indestructible.
You certainly don’t need to have an indestructible home to survive a storm. Frequent roof inspections, reinforced garage doors, secured windows, and trimmed trees are relatively simple, yet critical precautions you can take to protect your home.
The number of wildfires has been on the rise. Homes in California are especially vulnerable to the risks of wildfires, but there are ways in which damage can be reduced or avoided altogether. By simply following building codes and standards, we are not doing enough to protect ourselves. [amazon_link asins=’B01FOILJEI’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’bunkerbasics-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ca977ab1-88df-4add-8215-2c16f072c910′]
If you are in a high risk area, you must exercise precautions and incorporate fire safety best practices. The most important strategy is to keep your roof and yard clean of any combustible materials or debris. Preventing the fire’s spread by removing ignitable substances is a necessary investment of your time, while an emergency sprinkler system is a wise investment of your money.
Those of us living on the coasts are in the most flood prone areas. Floods may be the most visceral fears we have as climate change worsens. Images of Hurricane Katrina and the Japanese tsunami still linger freshly in many of our minds. Early warning systems aren’t always reliable and don’t provide us with the proper amount of time needed to evacuate. If we are going to accept the risks of floods in living on the coasts, then we must protect our homes from suffering flood damage.
Ideally, you put your house on stilts, but this isn’t always a feasible option from a financial or aesthetic standpoint. Installing sump pumps, raising electrical outlets, and pointing downspouts away from your home are, however, helpful measures you can take.
Climate change isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s normal to feel frustrated with the lack of progress we’ve made in combating climate change, but frustration alone isn’t helpful. We must take matters into our own hands to future-proof ourselves from the risk of harm. If you have any other suggestions about adapting to a warming world, then leave a comment below or contact me directly. You can also purchase supplies in the Bunker Basics Store to better prepare yourself.