“The preparations are what they are. We’re here. The storm is coming.
We are as best prepared as we can be as the eye of the storm approaches.”
~ Lieutenant General Russel Honore,
Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina
A week ago, Ralphs’ parking lot could have been mistaken for one along the Gulf States during hurricane season. The rain came down in torrents, palm trees swayed as lightening and thunder struck. Jim Cantore (Weather Channel meteorologist), you missed a good one!
Cautiously, I journeyed back home. A river came racing down Glenwood, jumping the curbs and bringing down the trashcans in its path. Within two hours we received 1.77 inches of rain. Did I mention the hail? The 2012-13 rain season begins …
Then the days warmed as Santa Ana winds began to blow. The skies transformed to a shade of blue only October can offer … a perfect time to be outdoors. Also a good time to assess and prepare for the rain, wind and cold of winter. I know, we live in sunny Southern California. People from the Midwest or back east probably chuckle and shake their heads at our “bad weather.” No matter – our weather occasionally makes national headlines. Maybe exciting, but not when it affects our lives and property.
The following are just a few preparation suggestions, from top to bottom. Hopefully, with some forethought, the winter weather will bring enjoyment and not hardship.
1. Inspect roof. Replace missing and loose shingles to prevent leaks.
2. Check rain gutters. Clear them of leaf and pine needle debris. Make sure the opening connecting the gutter and the downspout is unobstructed.
3. Trim trees. Overhanging trees can be a real hazard. Branches can scrape and damage shingles during windstorms or break off, causing injury and major structural damage.
4. Service heater. While the days are still warm, open the doors and windows. Turn on the heater for 15 minutes to clear old dust particles and odor. Change the filter. A complete system check should be done annually.
5. Seal windows etc. Keep the cold out and the warm in. Caulk around doors, windows and exterior openings where cold air might enter. Use a good grade of acrylic latex caulking, either paintable white or clear.
6. Prevent flooding. There should be a 2% slope away from the foundation. Take a look. A pine tree root had lifted up our driveway. Water from last week’s storm poured into the garage. Mop-up completed, but a bigger job remains – a new driveway and root removal (not in that order!).
As with any home maintenance, use common sense. This is not a test of your skills or independence. Don’t hesitate to call a professional.
This weekend and upcoming week brings a temperature drop of almost 40 degrees. The NWS is cautiously mentioning a chance of rain during this time. Our pool is now closed for the season…
Historical Weather ~ Oct. 18
High 100F (1940)
Low 45F (1938)
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.