Whether you believe in climate change or not (there are many out there who don’t), you and your family will have to deal with natural phenomena at one point in your lives. One of those phenomena is drought, which is defined simply as the absence or lack of water for an extended period of time, at a place and to an extent where it is considered abnormal.
To elaborate, consider this: some places on Earth experience a great amount of rainfall, while other places, like the Sahara Desert for instance, can go for months without experiencing rain. However, just because there is a lack of precipitation doesn’t mean there is drought. You should note that it is only considered a drought if the lack of rain is something that is not usual for the specific place in question.
Drought is often not considered by people as a natural disaster because it is not as destructive as tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes; but its impact, if it goes on for too long, can be just as serious and even catastrophic.
To overcome an enemy, you have to know it. Similarly, to prepare yourself for drought, you first have to educate yourself about what it is. Moreover, to know how to prepare yourself for a drought, you first have to know what specific type you are dealing with, as there are many:
- Meteorological – This refers to when there is a general absence of precipitation and when there are a variety of weather conditions like dry winds and high temperatures that are at play. This can bring about a water crisis in your location especially if it is prolonged.
- Agricultural – This is when there is a lack of moisture in the soil. In this situation, the animals and the crops are the ones that are most affected.
- Hydrological – This happens when there is a lack of ground water and surface water supply in an area, which happens because of a lack of rainfall, or as a result of meteorological drought.
- Socioeconomic – This is when there is a lack of supply in goods and services like food, energy, and drinking water because of the changes brought about by hydrological and meteorological conditions.
What causes this kind of natural phenomenon?
There are a lot of factors at play as to why drought happens:
- Lack or absence of expected rainfall – The operative word here is “expected,” because the lack of rainfall alone does not automatically mean a drought. Like I mentioned above, some places can go for periods of time without experiencing rain, and this would just be normal for them. When farmers anticipate rain but it does not come and there is an absence of irrigation infrastructure, this is when agricultural drought occurs.
- Human actions – Trees play a big part in the water cycle as they are responsible for reducing evaporation, water storage, and transpiration. So when people cut down trees irresponsibly, they are no longer able to fulfill these functions. In fact, deforestation is known to greatly affect—in a negative way—the watershed potential of a forest.
- Global warming – Human actions have also led to another thing: a greatly increasing quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that has in turn led to warmer temperatures all over the planet. This condition brings about and worsens drought.
Although drought may not be as “immediate” or “urgent” a problem as a tornado or an earthquake, its effects cannot be undermined. We need water to live and to go about our day—that is an undisputed fact. Aside from its own immediate effects on day-to-day living, drought also has serious consequences on a country’s economic, environmental, and social conditions.
There are many things you can do to address this problem or prevent its impact when it actually happens:
- Educate yourself and your family. It is crucial for you to learn what drought is and how they can affect all of us as this knowledge enables you to brainstorm for possible solutions and what you can do to alleviate its impact.
- Take measures to stop or reduce water pollution. When droughts happen, people turn to surface water sources such as rivers, streams, lakes, and such. If they are polluted or contaminated, this makes them unsafe for using, which aggravates the problem.
- Think of ways you can conserve and store water. When drought happens, you will want to be prepared. One of the ways you can do this is by learning to store water in containers like the quality rainwater tanks provided by Rain Water Tanks
I recommend reading the following articles to prepare your home for drought:
Water is a limited, scarce commodity. With or without a drought, we should always take measures to conserve it and be mindful with how we use it, taking special care not to be wasteful.
Article written by Lillian Vistal for Prepper’s Will.
Author Bio: Lillian Vistal has been writing professionally for almost ten years and non-professionally for as long as she can remember. Aside from books, she likes sleeping and eating. She is basically a human cat.
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