Prepare for Drought

Posted by: Mackenzie (D/D) - 07.06.2017 - 9:53 am

When most people depict natural disasters that have potential to cause significant property and personal damage, they may imagine hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods. However, there is one important natural phenomenon that people across the country often fail to prepare for: drought.

As of June 20, 2017, nearly 32 percent of the United States is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. In fact, anyone in the country can expect to be caught in a drought at some point. Although the effects of drought are far-reaching, many people are unaware of how to care for themselves, their property, and their community’s resources during this time.

Don’t Waste Water

Even if your area isn’t currently experiencing a decrease in precipitation, there are steps you can take to make water conservation and home maintenance easier if (or, more likely, when) a drought hits your home. First, we suggest checking your home for water leaks of any kind. This will not only help your community get through a drought, it will save you money on your water bill in the meantime.

Here are a few easy ways to prepare your home to save water:

  • Repair any leaky faucets. You could be wasting 2,700 gallons annually!
  • Have other leaks, such as toilets, repaired by a plumber.
  • Install insulation around pipes to alleviate your water heater’s load.
  • Choose efficient clothes and dish washers.
  • Replace your current toilet with a low-cost, low-flow version.
  •  Purchase a low-flow showerhead.

Outdoor Tips

Lawn watering is often restricted in a drought. This can leave yards looking disheveled. However, with a little planning and preparation, your garden can look great all year long:

  • Choose drought-tolerant plants. Bonus points if they are native breeds.
  • Keep water where you need it by using mulch.
  • Don’t make your lawn extra thirsty by using too much fertilizer.
  • Don’t use automatic sprinkler in the winter, when plants are dormant.
  • Use “grey water” to water your garden. For example, collect the water that comes through the showerhead as you wait for warm water, then use that to keep your plants healthy.

Protect Your Foundation

In some areas, such as Texas, drought can cause serious damage to your home’s foundation. You can fight this damage by keeping your foundation moist. However, you don’t want to waste water during a drought. So what’s a homeowner to do?

  • Put plants around the foundation. When you water the plants, your foundation will get some too.
  • Use grey water.
  • Install a timed drip or soaker hose.
  • Use waterproofing materials to fill any cracks you find in your foundation.

If your area is currently in a drought, be sure to check your local regulations and follow them in addition to the tips above. With some smart planning, you can survive a drought without sacrificing much. 

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