Only recently was California proclaimed drought-free after seven long years. The same can be said with Oklahoma and Louisiana. However, there are still areas in Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas where people are still trying to survive a drought. With summer on the horizon and the United States already feeling the heat, there are fears that the current drought in the said areas will worsen. Those who have experienced struggling to survive a drought are still wary of going through another round of dry spell every time the weather gets too hot.
A decade ago, Southern United Sates and parts of Mexico suffered from extreme drought, which lasted for three years from 2010 to 2013. In 2011, Americans, particularly Texans, had to endure one of the worst cases of drought in recent memory.
The 1930s were one of the worst times ever as North America suffered from what is now referred to as the Dust Bowl. During this time, people were struggling to survive a drought that so bad that, accompanied by wrong farming methods, caused the land to dry up and cause severe dust storms. If this scene looks familiar, you may have seen it in the film Interstellar. The space exploration movie, which opened with Earth being in the middle of a pretty severe drought, is actually based on the Dust Bowl. That means, there is a possibility it may happen since it has happened before. The need to prepare and know what it takes to survive a drought is therefore something you should take seriously.
Preparing for A Drought
Do Some Research
The first step in preparing to survive a drought is gaining knowledge. Know what a drought is exactly and how it occurs. You should also look at previous cases of drought and how they affected people, animals, crops and Earth, in general. A little background on the subject will give you a better grasp on how important it is to prepare for it.
You should also stay updated especially if you’re in or near a place that is experiencing or has experienced drought in recent years. There’s a thing called the U.S. Drought Monitor where you can actually see in the areas affected by drought. New data is released every Thursday morning Eastern Time.
Your research will help a lot in finding different ways or tips to survive a drought.
Before A Drought
Stock Up On Water
One of the most glaring effects of drought is water shortage. We all know how vital water is to our survival so stocking up on water should be a no-brainer. You’ll need as much clean, drinking water as you can hoard in your home or shelter. This goes for all kinds of disasters.
You must also have a supply of water, which you can use for cleaning, washing clothes, and other important chores. You’re lucky I there is a body of water nearby such as a river or lake. In extreme cases of drought, however, it’s possible that they would dry out. The safest action to take, therefore, is to stock up on water.
Fill Your Pantry
To survive a drought, you still need to put food on the table aside from water, of course. Since water will be scarce during a drought, you will also have a hard time getting food. Simply put, farmers will have a hard time growing and raising food during a drought. Before all these come true, stock up on non-perishable food and food that does not require water to prepare. This will make sure you have something to eat even during a drought.
Drill A Well
If you own a homestead or a parcel of land somewhere, you should consider drilling a well. Not only will this help you survive a drought; you will also have a steady supply of water for your daily needs. The best part about having a well is that you don’t have to pay for the water after your initial expenses making it. Check out this Mother Earth News step-by-step guide on drilling a well on your property.
Check the Pipes and Faucets
Make sure there are no leaking faucets and pipes. If you have little knowledge on plumbing, hire a professional. It’s better to pay now than to waste so much water and money without you knowing it. As Ready.gov puts it, one drop per second results to 2,700 gallons of water wasted each year.
Water is lost because of high heat. Prevent that from happening by installing insulation on your water pipes.
Replace Old Toilet
If you still have those old water-guzzling toilets, it’s time for a change. Install the newer models with smaller tanks. This means you’re using less water to flush down yesterday’s dinner. Those who can’t afford a new toilet just yet, simply fill a one-gallon plastic jug with water and place it inside the tank. The jug will displace water thus lessening the amount you use for each flush.
People who like to flush used tissue or other small pieces of trash down the toilet should stop this wasteful habit. The trash can or basket is likely just a foot or two away. Use it.
Keep the Soil Healthy
When drought strikes, you’ll soon notice your land drying and cracking. Fill your garden with drought-tolerant plants and trees. Use mulch on your plants to help keep the soil moist and healthy. They will also keep away weeds that compete with your plants for water.
Start an edible garden or farm on your property and make sure it stays healthy. A greenhouse, for example, can still thrive during a drought as long as the owners make the necessary adjustments. Greenhouse Grower believes homesteaders are adapting to such weather phenomenon.
A number of people believe that aquaponics is one of the keys how to survive a drought. According to Regenative.com, the system retains 90% of the water used, which is the main reason why it would definitely work during a drought.
During a Drought
Take short showers not long ones or baths. If worse comes to worst, stop using the shower and use a pail. Just fill it up with water enough to clean yourself up. Avoid the urge to use more water than what is in your pail.
Flush the toilet only when necessary. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Better yet, fill a glass with water and use only that amount to rinse your mouth.
Avoid Using the Sink Disposal
Garbage disposal units use up a lot of water. While having one has its advantages, you’re better off using your kitchen scraps to make compost for your garden. Plus, you save lots of water in the long run.
When you shower, place a pail right below you to catch some of the soapy water. Instead of it going down the drain, you can use this recycled water to clean your car or flush the toilet. Collect rainwater, which you can use in a lot of things. You can even sterilize rainwater for drinking.
Don’t Throw Away Water
Some people have a habit of pouring leftover water down the drain. This is a big no-no when you’re trying to survive a drought. Instead of wasting the little portions of water, you can collect them and make use of them later for cleaning, flushing the toilet, or watering plants. Place a plant or herb on the sink so you have somewhere to throw your leftover water into.
Run Full Loads
Wait until you have a full load before doing your laundry. Doing half-full loads every time out is a waste of valuable water. The same can be said with dishwashers and your dishes.
There’s a reason why there are a number of films that use drought as a plot point. Severe or extreme drought is a horrific scenario, which is great for Hollywood disaster or dystopian films but is not welcome in the real word. However, it does happen. All you can do is to prepare and learn everything you can on how to survive a drought.
Visit The Gentleman Pirate to know more survival tips during dry spells, heat waves, and other similar natural disasters.
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