To be prepared for a drought, you need to make water conservation part of your lifestyle.
The primary impact from a drought is reduced water supplies, but that’s not the only impact. Air quality may suffer due to dust, and wildfires can become a major threat.
While the urgency of a drought is less than with other disasters, it’s no less important to be prepared. These tips will help you be ready:
- Water your yard efficiently. Don’t let water run off. If it rains, turn your automatic sprinkler system off.
- Landscape your yard with drought-tolerant grasses, plants and trees. Natives are usually a good choice. Use mulch to retain moisture.
- Install water-efficient appliances, toilets, faucets and shower heads. Repair leaks.
- Don’t run faucets unnecessarily. Instead of pouring wastewater down the drain, use it for watering your garden.
- If you live in an area with a limited water supply, have a plan for an alternative source for drinking and sanitation.
During a drought, follow these tips and be safe:
- When dust or smoke is in the air, wear a face mask, especially if you have a respiratory illness. A mask with an N95 rating is recommended. It will filter out 95 percent of airborne particles.
- Protect your indoor environment by frequently changing the air filters on your air conditioning and heating systems. Stock up on filters so you never run out.
- Don’t swim in stagnant creeks, ponds or lakes. They are at risk of being contaminated and may cause illness.
- Dust storms may become a threat, reducing visibility and making driving conditions dangerous. Never drive in a dust storm.
- Wildfire dangers increase. Be sure to have your emergency supply kit packed and ready to load, and plan your route of escape ahead of time.