The Benefits of Incorporating Sustainable Practices into Extreme Weather Preparedness
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Five Ways to Incorporate Sustainable Practices Into Extreme Weather Preparedness
Extreme weather can put people and property in harm’s way. To be better prepared, incorporating sustainable practices into extreme weather preparedness is one way to increase resiliency against extreme weather-related disasters. These five sustainable practices are important when preparing for extreme weather.
1. Conserve Energy
Energy conservation is paramount when preparing for extreme weather. Conserving energy could mean energy upgrades to buildings and homes, such as switching to solar energy and other renewable sources, or investing in energy-efficient appliances that use less electricity. Additional ways to conserve energy during extreme weather events include unplugging any non-essential electrical appliances, switching off lights when not in use, and using power strips to easily turn off multiple appliances at once.
2. Make Water Resilient
Water is an essential part of any extreme weather plan. To prepare, look for ways to conserve and use water efficiently without overworking private wells and public water resources. Incorporating greywater systems, such as rain barrels, cisterns and holding tanks, can be beneficial during an emergency and help address water shortages during extreme weather.
3. Environmental Education
Environmental education is an important part of increasing sustainability around extreme weather preparedness. Educating yourself on climate change, understanding the risks posed by extreme weather, and agreeing on a plan of action can tremendously help strengthen a community’s resiliency.
4. Construct Sustainable Buildings
When developing and retooling building structures, looking into stronger and more sustainable construction materials is essential. Consider steel and masonry as they can be used as structural components with high fire resistance. Additionally, green building practices need to be employed and adhered to ensure that the materials used are safe and non-toxic, and are not contributing to climate change.
5. Sustainable Outdoor Spaces
Sustainable outdoor spaces can increase the resilience of an area during extreme weather. Developing with plants and trees that require little water, as well as selecting native plants with longer lifespans can help protect an area from extreme weather events. The more resilient an area is, the better chance for rapid recovery in the event of an extreme weather occurrence.
Taking on sustainable practices proactively is a great way of preparing for extreme weather. Although the long-term effects will likely not be evident right away, over time communities that have adopted sustainable practices will be better positioned to manage disasters associated with extreme weather. By transitioning to sustainable practices, communities are investing in their own long-term health and resilience, while also helping to create a more sustainable future.