How to Prepare for Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Person wearing poncho looking at storm coming


In 2023, whether climate change is real isn’t really the question being asked. How we can prepare for it is. Besides doing our part to slow it down, it's important to also take precautions against the effects of climate change that are already showing up.

Often disguised as weather events, it can be difficult to know what is a climate change-influenced event and what is a normal natural disaster. Recent issues like the wildfires in Maui, the hurricanes in Southern California and Texas, and the predicted arctic East Coast winter of 2023 are all examples of extreme weather by way of climate change. Luckily, there are things we can do to prepare for the impending weather changes. 

How Does Climate Change Affect Weather?

The main environmental issues that come to mind when you think about climate change are most likely rising sea levels and droughts, however, disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and cyclones are also increasing because of environmental impact. Because climate change increases the amount and temperature of water in the sea, water-related natural disasters are made more intense. On the other hand, higher temperatures also lead to drier conditions in already dry climates.

If you are wondering the reason why certain weather events seem to be more prominent in specific regions, here is a breakdown:

forest on fire

Forest Fires:

Forest fires occur in drier areas that have historically had droughts. With increased temperatures, the frequency and intensity of these fires are on the rise around the globe. To prepare for potential forest fires, look at a resource like a fire zone map to see if you are in an area that is at risk. If you are in one of these zones, consider renovating or building your home with fire-resistant materials. 

How to prepare for a wildfire: 

  1. Download the FEMA app on your phone to receive alerts immediately.  

  2. Create an emergency plan that includes meeting locations and ways to contact your loved ones in case of separation.

  3. Put together supply kits for you and everyone in your household. Portable chargers, n95 masks, provisions, water, and any other supplies you may need should be in your kits.

  4. Digitally upload all your important documents and place physical copies in a fire-resistant container. 

  5. Know your evacuation routes and follow them to a T.

truck driving through hurricane


Hurricanes and tropical storms like monsoons and cyclones occur in warmer areas of the ocean and are becoming more frequent. As water temperatures and sea level rise, the intensity and frequency of these types of storms do as well. 

How to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm:

  1. Prepare an emergency kit with non-perishable foods, water, first aid supplies, and anything else you need. Flashlights and portable chargers are another necessity. 

  2. Put together an emergency plan, including evacuation routes, contact methods, places to meet, etc. 

  3. Review your zone to see if you live in a hurricane evacuation area. Coastal cities are more vulnerable to these types of storms.

  4. Review your insurance policies to make sure your property is covered and protected.

  5. Read this article on staying safe after a hurricane for more information on protecting yourself and your property.

blizzard aftermath


Snowstorms and blizzards are native to areas like the polar regions and northernmost regions of the northern hemisphere, like the US East Coast. With more water evaporating because of high temperatures, precipitation levels also increase, including snowfall. 

How to prepare for a snowstorm:

  1. Download the FEMA app to receive alerts about storms, potential evacuations, and more important notifications. 

  2. Prepare emergency kits for both your home and your care. Include portable chargers, food/snacks, water, flashlights, snow shoveling equipment, blankets, gloves, hats, boots, and flares for both kits. For your car, make sure you have a full tank, jumper cables, tow rope, a spare tire, and a bag of sand or kitty litter.  

  3. Keep a large empty can to use as an emergency toilet with toilet paper and wet wipes. 

  4. Buy a generator or power supply source, and make sure to have portable chargers for all your important electronics. 

  5. Seal your doors and windows with heavy-duty tape and sand when needed.

Staying Prepared

The main thing to remember when preparing for the effects of climate change is that every region’s weather conditions will react differently to climate change. For example, if you already live in a dry area, you should be prepared for droughts and fires. However, if you live in a cold area, prepare for blizzards and snowstorms. The best way to face climate change is to be ready for whatever nature brings your way with emergency kits and supplies to keep you and your family safe. 

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