No doubt about it: the weather is getting more extreme. And climate change is behind the trend. The recent special report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects higher temperatures and increases in “hot extremes” and “heavy precipitation” in the decades to come. And based on historical research by GLISA (the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program), the frequency and intensity of severe storms have already increased. GLISA found that from 1951 to 2010 the heaviest storms had become more intense, had more precipitation, and lasted longer.
If you have a cottage in the Great Lakes region, you’re more likely to have one of these severe storms in your future. According to GLISA, “the Great Lakes region, which is projected to experience a greater increase in total precipitation than most other parts of North America, is also expected to experience large increases in heavy precipitation events.”
To make sure you’re ready if (and when) one of these storms hits, you should have a basic emergency kit on hand. Go to getprepared.ca for info on how to assess your risks, make an emergency plan, and put together a kit of basic essentials that you’ll need in case disaster strikes, things like water, food that won’t spoil, a wind-up or battery-powered flashlight, a first aid kit, etc.
For the cottage, however, you may want to assemble a more comprehensive contingency kit. Here are some items that you should include:
► A generator and fuel
► Something to cut through a downed tree (a chainsaw, a bowsaw, or an axe)
► Extra blankets or sleeping bags
► A pump, a hose, and a clean plastic bucket and barrel (to get and store water from the lake)
► Solar lights and/or a portable solar panel
► Candles (in sturdy containers) or lanterns (and matches or lighters)
► A fully charged power bank (for recharging cellphones)
► Sturdy shoes and boots for everyone (you may have to walk out to safety)
► And the most cottagey item, duct tape