As we all know, climate change is a big issue in today’s world. We can’t stop it completely from continuing to happen because it would take 100 years for the global temperature to cool down without us emitting any greenhouse gases. That itself, is impossible unless we all just magically disappear for 100 years and then come back like nothing happened. Therefore, we have to learn how to mitigate it, which in short means adapting to the changes that climate change brings. There are many things happening today that people must deal with every day, like heat waves and floods. A heat wave is “a period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity, especially in oceanic climate countries.” Floods are “an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of “flowing water”, the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide.” Those are only a few of the things that climate change overtime has made worse by making them occur more often and be stronger when they do happen. Therefore, we must learn how to live with them and protect our homes from them.
In the case of heat waves, in order to mitigate them, we have many options. For us to protect our vegetation and ourselves from the heat, the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) has suggested heat island reduction strategies for big cities, which are green or cool roofs, cool pavements, or increased vegetation and trees- for long term planning efforts to reduce the temperature in urban areas. The green roofs are exactly what they sound like. They are roofs made from vegetation such as grass, trees, and other types of plants for them to absorb the heat and for buildings/houses to stay cool during the heat. An increase in vegetation and trees would help urban areas in general by providing shade and lowering surface temperatures. The cool pavements are basically a new type of cement that can reflect 50% of the sunlight, making the roads and urban temperatures cooler in general. It is very important to stay cool during the heat and stay hydrated, because it can lead to health issues if we don’t.
Floods are one of the most devastating natural disasters. They can cause hundreds of millions in damages. To mitigate it, we have the following options; we can build rain gardens, underground infiltration trenches, an underground storage and infiltration system, a regional stormwater pond, and many more things. These are the most economical and effective methods. The rain gardens will help absorb a lot of water through the soil, that can be damaging to the surrounding areas. The underground infiltration trenches are “linear ditches that collect rainwater from the adjacent surfaces, and their highly permeable soils allow the water to quickly seep into the ground.” They help during floods by taking the water into the ground, so it doesn’t damage the surrounding areas. Stormwater ponds “collect rainwater (stormwater runoff) that runs over impermeable surfaces such as parking lots, roads, and buildings.” Helping the buildings that don’t have a permeable surface not to get flooded to the point that it destroys what’s in them. Remember that before a flood it is best to watch the news to predict if your area is getting flooded so you have time to evacuate and if you can’t evacuate, then you can at least have time to protect your home using other methods.
The ways to mitigate natural disasters are limited. We can never fully avoid damage 100%, but we can help ourselves and our environment by finding ways to reduce that damage or reduce the heat overtime. It’s going to take all of us and our future generations to mitigate climate change effectively overtime. We need to educate ourselves and our children on how to deal with natural disasters and, more importantly, on how to reduce the damage that can be caused by them.