Preparing for El Niño

There are many things to prepare for heavy rains triggered by the warming equatorial water mass referred to as El Niño. This includes everything from gutter-care to checking area drains. Among the tips we got from Orchard Supply Hardware are:

· Home: Gutter and roof maintenance will be key this season. Attach a Gutter Wand to a garden hose to help clear debris from gutters, and secure vulnerable roof areas with Henry's roof patch and leak seal materials.
· Yard: Flooding can be an expensive hazard! Install a removable Downspout adapter & 25' Flex Drain coil to redirect water from your gutter towards a drain or into a rainwater barrel to avoid flooding in the yard.
· Garden: Save those plants you've work so hard to grow by protecting them with burlap cover. Take advantage of fallen leaves by adding to mulch around the garden.
· Plumbing: Invest in gas and water shut-off tools - they're easy to use and attach to your systems in case of an emergency.

Equipment: Though expensive, generators and sump pumps can be helpful.
In addition to those...

Cars: Check and replace, if necessary, windshield wipers. Check tire tread. Replace tires if needed. Have an earthquake kit in the car in case you get stranded.

Personal Outerwear: Have a rain suit and boots.

Home: Check caulking around your windows to be sure they are sealed.

Car: Check your battery. It may be time to replace it. How are your brakes and brake pads? Probably worth checking.

Worth Considering: If you have any interest in hiring a contractor to work on your roof, paint your exterior or seal any cracks there are lots of other people with the same idea. Roofing contractors, for instance, have taken on work for weeks ahead. Don't wait until it's too late. And, even if it doesn't rain a drop, it's a good excuse to fix-up the house!

There are many resources available for Southern Californians who are looking for ways to prepare for storms that may be intensified by El Niño conditions. For one, Los Angeles County has set up

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