108°F
weather icon Clear

Preparation key to surviving monsoon season

When I moved to Southern Nevada and heard the term “monsoon season,” I was confused. Monsoons in the desert? I thought they were tropical/coastal storms that ravaged countries on the other side of the planet, like in southern Asia.

While that’s indeed true, I was misinformed on two counts. Not only do monsoons also hit the Southwest U.S. and northwest Mexico, a monsoon isn’t even a storm. It’s a large-scale seasonal weather pattern that involves a wind shift, usually bringing violent weather.

Lasting from July to September, monsoon season puts on quite the show. My sweetheart and I have enjoyed watching the storms from our patio. It wasn’t until a lightning strike hit so close — a deafening crack turning everything around us white — that we realized we were nuts to be outside and high-tailed it into the house.

That literally hair-raising experience inspired me to put together a list of monsoon safety and readiness tips we could all use around the home this time of year.

Indoor readiness

■ Keep flashlights, candles, matches and lighters in strategic places around the house.

■ Keep fresh batteries on hand; store them in a cool, dry place.

■ Have a three-day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food supplies. (One gallon per person/per day is a rule of thumb).

■ Have a reliable emergency radio in your home, one that supports multiple power sources including a manual one, like a handcrank.

■ Keep a portable USB power-pack charged for use at any time.

Outdoor readiness

■ Prune and thin trees around your house. Flying branches, falling boughs or trees can damage property and life. Also, dried/dead trees will light up like a Roman candle should they be struck by lighting.

■ Have your roof inspected by a reputable roofing company. Finding weak spots or cracks before a storm hits can save you thousands of dollars.

■ In the event of electrical surges or power problems, have an electrician install a whole-house surge protector at your electric panel or use surge protector power strips with appliances and electronic equipment.

Before the storm hits

■ Batten down the hatches around the exterior of your home. Secure anything that can fly/fall in high wind. Remember, even heavier objects, like a barbecue, can blow over.

■ Unplug sensitive and expensive electronic devises. No surge protector will protect equipment if your home is hit by lightning.

During the storm

■ When thunder roars, go indoors. There’s no place safe outside during a lighting storm.

■ Wait to use household water, anything plumbing related, until after the storm has passed. Metal plumbing pipes and water conduct electricity and create a risk of current jumping to you should lightning strike near your home.

Power outage do’s and don’ts

■ Don’t open the fridge/freezer; keeping it shut will maintain the temperature longer.

■ Don’t walk around in the dark. Do keep a flashlight with you at all times.

■ Don’t waste battery life on nonessentials.

■ Do have battery-operated portable personal fans to help cool you off.

■ Do keep a fun board game on hand to pass the time.

Not home-related, but certainly worth mentioning, flash-flooding while one is driving or walking is nothing to take lightly. Even 6 inches of rushing water can knock over an adult, and 12 inches can carry off a small car. Remember, don’t drown; turn around.

A seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally spent four seasons as host of Discovery Home Channel’s Emmy-nominated series “Toolbelt Diva. A columnist and author, Vally splits her time among Southern Nevada, Los Angeles and New York City. Follow her on Facebook at Norma Vally “Toolbelt Diva” and visit her at www.NormaVally.com. Email Norma@NormaVally.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
St. Jude’s healing center plans advance

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children’s latest master plan amendment was approved, and the organization is hoping to break ground this year on its proposed healing center for victims of sex trafficking.

Spoil dad with gourmet hamburgers

With Father’s Day just around the corner, may I suggest giving dear old dad what he really wants: an amazing hamburger. Seriously, who doesn’t love a big, tender, juicy burger? Except for a few vegetarians, every dad I know would agree.

Mail letters to local Olympians to show support

With restrictions in place on attendance by family members and spectators at the 2020 Olympics due to COVID-19, Team USA has created a way for Boulder City to support its athlete, Alexis “Lexi” Lagan, who will be competing in Tokyo this July.

Passage through rapids was a ‘winch’

Anson Call, the man who was instrumental in establishing the community of Fort Callville, later just Callville, about seven miles upriver of Black Canyon to serve as a seaport for steamboats going back and forth on the Colorado River, had a vision for something on a more grand scale.

Thespians earn state honors

The Nevada Thespians recently recognized a Boulder City High School graduating senior with the Outstanding Technical Achievement award. It is given to just one student in the state.

Ask questions before hiring contractor

Finding a good contractor can be daunting, especially when home improvement demands are still surging since lockdowns. For this article’s purposes, when I say “contractor” I mean any craftsman, tradesman (i.e. plumber, electrician), handyman, etc. A stunning word of mouth referral is ideal when choosing a contractor, but how else can we find Mr. or Ms. Right contractor?

Peanut butter cookie simply irresistible

There’s a “day” for nearly everything, but here is a holiday so good, it’s nuts. Or perhaps rather, legumes? This Saturday, June 12, is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.

Many helped city navigate through challenges of COVID

Alright, everyone do it with me … raise your right hand above your head, bring it down and touch your back. Now begin patting your back and say out loud, “Thank you.”