Gladly the mountains here are not prone to many of the environmental concerns that other areas need to worry about. No hurricanes, no earthquakes, very rarely (if ever) tornadoes, and since I am relatively close to the top of the hill on one side of the valley, no worries about flooding.
Sure, we might get a big blizzard and several feet of snow, but the particular valley I am in is relatively sheltered from that as well and high enough altitude that it is often too cold for the air to let loose it's moisture until it is down lower into the foothills.
Surprisingly though, we do get some severe seasonal wind. Great giant gusts that have made me have nightmares about the house blowing into the neighbor's yard more than once. Winds that can steal the heaviest patio furniture, carry away sheds, and topple some of the most flexible of trees. Over the last several days the wind has been howling almost every afternoon. And while I have written about the dramatic winds here before, I think today's weather warning for my area is worth a note...
"A strong and fast moving weather system will bring powerful winds into
the Colorado High Country today and tonight. Winds are expected to increase
over the Front Range Mountains through the afternoon, increasingly reaching
down the foothills by late in the day. The peak of the potentially damaging
winds is expected to be this evening with the passage of a Pacific cold front.
In the mountains and foothills, wind gusts of 50 to 75 mph will be common, with a few higher wind prone
areas receiving gusts as high as 100 mph."
Considering I am pretty sure the last few days have been much higher than the 75 mph warnings have foretold, I have great concern that 100 mph isn't going to be the upper limit for this storm.
What to do when wild winds come-a-knocking? First... move anything inside that you can, bolt down anything you can't, and tie your trash dumpsters to the closest big tree. And of course, if you have window shutters that work (but who actually does anymore?) close them up tight. Then close the curtains and watch loud movies all day and night to drown out the sound that makes you think your roof will literally fly off at any moment. Maybe drink some hot tea with rum in it. And of course, give the pets extra cuddles since they are even more sensitive to the house shaking in it foundation. Even deaf cats don't like that kind of wind.
I am fairly lucky that my home is built in a giant "sun-scoop" fashion. Not only does it capture the maximum amount of sun in the winter, and shade the windows and glass doors in the summer, but it also helps direct a large portion of wind and snow up and over the back of the roof and well away from the windows and doors on the front. So I feel pretty secure when thinking logically about it all. Of course that does nothing to help the cave-man part of me wish that I could burrow into solid rock to get away when the wind hits hard enough to rattle the windows and doors.
So for me... I will start up an action-movie marathon, cuddle with the kitties, and get that rum-tea ready.