With the winter season also comes the cold rain. We must be used to it because it comes every year, right? Well this year's rain is like no other. Instead of nice refreshing rain we have flooding and storms. Where and why is this happening?

First let's look into where this is happening. Well, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia are so bad they’ve been evacuated from their homes. Over a dozen people have died during the evacuation. In California it has been one of the places hit the hardest. There's been storms and mass flooding causing many cities to be evacuated.

Now, why is this happening? Could it be climate change? Could it be poor water management? Is this just a normal part of life? Well, the short version is all of the above. Storms and floods are something that happens every winter and every year. We’re used to the water puddles and warm clothing. But what makes it so different this year?

Climate change is one of the key issues in why the floods have been so exacerbated this year. For example, the rising heat has been causing the ice in the mountains to melt which has been causing water to fall onto the towns below. This is only one of the ways why climate change has been affecting us. Another reason for flooding has been poor water management. Like a situation in Oregon where they never kept up with the dam, the water caused cracks which ended up causing the dam to fail causing a massive flood. This is only one situation where poor management caused a disaster.

Flooding and storms are normal parts of life that we’re always gonna be facing. But what can we do to stop this? Well, there’s nothing we can do to stop the actual flooding. But there are things we can do to help it not ruin so much of our properties. Here are five ways to help prevent flooding damage.

1: Install water sensors or flood detection systems.

There are many options for water detection systems, sensors, and alarms to alert you to water or leaks within your home. More complex water or leak detection systems can be tied into your smart home or your home security system to alert you of water before it’s a disaster.

2: Check & seal your basement windows.

Improve the water resistance of the basement or low windows by making sure they are properly sealed and caulked. If you have old windows, you may also consider having new ones installed. Newer windows have a better seal which can reduce the chance of water entering your home. New windows can also help with energy efficiency.

3: Have a good evacuation plan

Make sure if you’re in an area that has flooding to have an evacuation plan. This could be where to go, how to leave, what to pack, etc.

4: Keep sandbags nearby.

If flood levels are rising and water is approaching your home, sandbags can prevent water from coming through doorways or low windows. If you are in an area where flood risk is high, keep sandbags handy for emergencies.

5: Install a rain barrel.

A rain barrel is an alternative method for dealing with rainwater. Rain barrels are typically connected to gutter downspouts and collect the runoff from roofs. You can use this stored water for non-potable uses such as watering the lawn and gardens or washing your car.

And with that, always know your risks. Be safe and have a good winter, Falcons!