Although LA is most noted to be the land of earthquakes, growing up the real scary arm of nature wasn't the shaking of the earth, but the strong breath of Santa Ana winds that pressed up onto our house all night like a sleezy cologned man at a nightclub.
Did you know LA just endured gusts of 100mph? While growing up in Northridge, twice these high gusts were so violent, they shattered open our living room and bedroom windows. We've lost countless shingles and had trees fall every few years. Living in Los Angeles is dangerous enough as it is without this invisible force that comes around each year, several times (not to mention the allergies and short tempers it brings). So what can you do to prepare your home or apartment before nature breaks wind again?
- If you have an exterior television antenna or satellite dish, tighten it up or remove it for a short while. These things have been known to fly off and leave you with nothing but some exposed wires.
- Check roof shingles annually. My parents have always kept a small stack of extra shingles to replace the ones we lose every year.
- Duct tape: it isn't exactly a pretty choice, but each year we'd reinforce our windows with duct tape. The wind would blow and stretch our windows inward, but they'd never break.
- Check and tighten shutters.
- Keep all trees and bushes properly trimmed and away from windows. Growing up, I'd see quite a few windows pierced by nearby branches after a Santa Ana visit. Also, by keeping outdoor debris clear, you'll be helping reduce the chances of a large fire spreading.
The one thing the Santa Ana winds will bring is the opportunity for you to check for insulation gaps in your windows and doors, so with the winds departure today, maybe this weekend is a good time to get insulate your windows.