The frequency of hurricanes is increasing as the global temperature rises. High-category hurricanes can cause various forms of residential, physical, and emotional damage. Many individuals prepare for emergency events by stocking up on water bottles, batteries, and other temporary supplies.
Producing and distributing hurricane preparedness materials may negatively impact the environment. Residents can protect themselves through extreme weather events by engaging in the five eco friends storm preparation techniques. Before assessing the different techniques, individuals may explore the environmental challenges associated with emergency protection materials.
The Environmental Impacts of Hurricane Preparedness Products
When hurricanes approach a coastline, residents hurry to the grocery stores to stock up on water. Many home water systems run on electricity and pressure techniques, helping individuals shower, flush toilets, and access tap water. As residents purchase water bottles in preparation for a storm, they contribute to adverse environmental impacts.
Nearly 86% of the plastic materials end up in landfills instead of recycling facilities. The production of water bottles also relies heavily on fossil fuels. It takes about 17 million barrels of oil to create enough water bottles to meet a large countries’ consumption demands.
The production process creates greenhouse gas emissions, polluting the atmosphere. As emissions change the atmosphere, the planet becomes warmer, creating more extreme storms. If individuals cannot find plastic-less water supplies for storm preparation, they contribute to future hurricanes.
Batteries are another hurricane preparedness product causing ecological degradation. Conventional batteries run on lithium, which is a natural element residing beneath Earth’s surface. When professionals mine the element, they exploit freshwater sources and release contaminants into the environment.
As toxins surface, they pollute local water sources like rivers and lakes. Researchers found dead cattle and yaks in a river by the Ganzizhou Rongda mine, creating a ripple effect of destruction throughout the ecosystem. Individuals can access renewable energy sources and recycled supplies to sustain their consumption needs throughout a hurricane.
1. Install Solar Panels
Residents can prepare for storms ahead of time by ensuring they have adequate home insurance and installing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The renewable energy system helps individuals access electricity during power outages. It also increases a home’s sustainability, shrinking its carbon footprint.
PV panels attract solar radiation, using natural light to knock electrons loose. As the electrons move throughout the panel, they create a power current. Transfer wires gather the current, creating an accessible supply of emission-free electricity.
When individuals install PV systems, they may access electricity to power their communication devices, medical appliances, and other essential technologies. They can also power rechargeable batteries using renewable energy, decreasing their reliance on lithium.
2. Purchase Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable batteries are sustainable alternatives to lithium-reliant power sources. They utilize nearly 23 times fewer resources than disposable versions. Additionally, rechargeable batteries contribute about 28 times less to climate change.
The technology also holds a charge longer than conventional batteries. Their reusability additionally decreases landfill waste over time. Another eco-friendly hurricane preparedness device supporting a consumer’s energy needs during outages is a solar charger.
3. Have Solar Chargers on Hand
Independent devices help individuals charge their smartphones and other small communication technologies. Having access to a solar charger helps residents receive weather alerts and warnings in real-time. Climate professionals deliver essential information about safety techniques throughout a storm through smartphone alerts, telling residents when they should take shelter or evacuate.
Investing in a solar-powered radio also increases an individual’s access to vital storm information when the power goes out. They may additionally connect their conventional radios to solar chargers, creating an emission-free preparedness device. Residents can also access a drinkable water supply during storms by installing a rainwater harvesting system.
4. Utilize a Rainwater Harvesting System
Rainwater harvesting systems repurpose stormwater to help residents access non-potable resources during hurricanes. The technology collects runoff in barrels, pumping it through a purification device. After the system filters the rainwater and snowmelt, it distributes the water through a home.
Individuals can utilize the purified resource to flush their toilets, shower, wash clothes and drink. The system is also more sustainable than the conventional water supply because it reduces freshwater exploitation. Preserving the natural freshwater supply also supports global conservation efforts, minimizing adverse effects on the ecosystem.
5. Caulk Your Windows and Doors
Residents can also prepare their homes for hurricanes by caulking their windows and doors. Adding a sealant to a window and door’s border decreases water damage. Keeping rainwater away from your house minimizes the need to replace materials, conserving natural resources.
Caulking windows and doors also increase a home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system efficiency. HVAC systems account for nearly half of a house’s power consumption, significantly increasing its carbon footprint. Most heating and cooling devices rely on fossil fuels for power.
Increasing the efficiency of an HVAC system significantly reduces its power consumption, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Caulking your windows and doors both protects your property from storm damage and increases its sustainability.
Where to Start
Depending on the amount of preparation time an individual has, they may begin accessing certain eco-friendly materials. During the spring, before hurricane season, residents may begin installing renewable energy systems, shrinking their carbon footprints and increasing their access to power during outages. If individuals are preparing for a storm after a 24-hour alert, they may purchase solar chargers and rechargeable batteries to ensure their access to clean electricity.
Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief of Momish Magazine and believes in science, that climate change is real, and is doing her part to keep Mother Earth healthy for the future of her four kids.