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California a Poster Child for Climate Change and Disasters

Drought, rain, snow, more snow, rain, more rain. More drought?

We can expect to see more storms coming from climate change. These events will bring wind, rain, snow and then all the resulting damages — flooding, infrastructure damaged, trees down, homes damaged, etc. The opposite side of that is of course heat and drought which can kill people and the economic lives of many people and businesses.

The most recent storms impacting California have whipsawed the state from drought conditions to an overabundance of water. Too much in some places and too little in others. The extremes we are seeing are dramatic, especially that snow event. FYI, rain on snow just makes that snow much heavier ... so I expect even more collapsed roofs if people can’t lessen the load on their homes and businesses.

Some might hope that the drought might be over in portions of California. As far as replenishing the underground aquifers, that is unlikely. Those will take many, many years to be recharged. Reservoirs have been refilled, and some that are flood control ones have had to dump water to avoid overflowing and creating even more flooding.

We are early in 2023 and what the rest of the year promises in the form of disasters might be mind bending. We can’t control the weather, but we’ll have to be better at planning where we live if we are to avoid the worst impacts of it going forward. That trickling stream can become a raging torrent of water. It is best to put your new home a far distance away and on higher ground!
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.