Being prepared for the rainy season


The rain that drenched us over the past week reminds us that we should pay attention to Mother Nature and be ready for her arrival every day. Whether it’s wind or rain or unseasonable heat, there are steps to take that will make life easier when it hits. We’ve touched on issues related to fire safety in the past. Now let’s prepare for this wet stuff because it looks like we’ll see more this year.

Many of us might not give much thought to those large, beautiful trees — especially the elegant Torrey pines —that dot our neighborhoods. But looking at the damage to a house on Avenida Cresta should give us pause. Of course, it could have been worse: No one was hurt when the 50-year-old tree landed partially on the home as its residents were in the rear.

There was also the palm that lost its top on Girard Avenue a couple of days before — again without injuring anyone — and eucalyptus down throughout San Diego neighborhoods and on the golf course at Torrey Pines.

Tree care is both art and science; arborists say it’s all about lacing and trimming and thinning. It’s not a matter of lopping off the top and thinking you’re safe. Call an expert and get advice — on a regular basis. Then when the storm comes, you’re a step ahead of the game.

Some of these other points may be more obvious, but still worth a reminder:

  • Think about the condition of your roof on the sunny days so you won’t be caught in the backlog of calls when the rain comes through that hole you’ve been meaning to fix.
  • Get your gutters cleared so the water doesn’t back up, and take precautions if you do it yourself — falling off a roof can cost a lot more than hiring someone to do it for you. And don’t forget the yard drains that might have become clogged with leaves, dirt and construction debris.
  • Check the condition of your tires and review what to do if you’re caught in a skid — and SLOW DOWN. That wake your car throws off may greet an unprepared driver behind you. (We watched as the downpour hit Pearl Street the other night and watched people travel at their “normal” speed even though the rain was so heavy we couldn’t see across the street.)
  • Keep emergency supplies in your car. An extra rain jacket and plastic bag may come in handy if you have to change a tire in the rain. And that bottle of water and energy bars might just help too if you end up stranded for more than a short time.

There’s a reason why Boy and Girl Scouts have a common motto: Be prepared. It’s something we should all remember.