El Nino Preparation, Solutions and Celebration

Linda Rudell-Betts, Senior Librarian, Social Science, Philosophy and Religion Department,
el nino on the globe
Strong El Nino continues, Nov. 12, 2015. NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab

El Nino effect: rainstorms, rising ocean levels, more storms, flooding, mudslides—how are we supposed to cope with impending disaster in the midst of all the pressing everyday demands on our lives? El Nino has become a standard late night show punchline, but when confronted with flooded streets, downed live power lines or tree-blocked roads, no one is laughing much.

And why is this big weather disrupter called “The Little Boy” in Spanish? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Project.

El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, as opposed to La Niña, which characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. El Niño is an oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific having important consequences for weather around the globe.
El Niño was originally recognized by fisherman off the coast of South America as the appearance of unusually warm water in the Pacific ocean, occurring near the beginning of the year. El Niño means The Little Boy or Christ child in Spanish. This name was used for the tendency of the phenomenon to arrive around Christmas.

The City of Los Angeles has a comprehensive website, El Nino LA that is a one stop resource for weather disaster support provided by the City. It discusses the El Nino weather phenomenon and its effects, how to prepare your home and family, how to receive severe weather alerts, report blocked storm drains, fallen trees and downed power lines. Your neighborhood council may hold disaster preparedness workshops also—find yours here.

The American Red Cross maintains a digital disaster safety library. Topics include preparation for:  flooding, landslides, power outages, thunderstorms and tornadoes. Very helpful, too, is the section on pet safety.  Most checklists are translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

Once the storms have subsided, Californians will be treated to wildflower displays throughout deserts, mountains and even cities. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management tracks California wildflower blooms. Another tracking website is DesertUSA Southern California Wildflower Reports.

California Wildflowers
By Rennett Stowe from USA (California Wildflowers Uploaded by russavia)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

LAPL’s Social Science, Philosophy and Religion department has books to help you prepare for and devise solutions for the El Nino season, in addition to enjoying nature’s blooming response to the replenishing rains. See also the Science and Technology department for more titles from the scientific and applied technologies viewpoint.


Extreme weather : a guide to surviving flash floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, snowstorms, , tsunamis, and other natural disasters by Bonnie Schneider
Call # 361.52 S358

Planning for community resilience : a handbook for reducing vulnerability to disasters by Jaimie Hicks Masterson, Walter Gillis Peacock, et alia
Call # 361.5 M423

The prepper's complete book of disaster readiness : life-saving skills, supplies, tactics and plans by Jim Cobb.
Call # 361.5 C653

When disaster strikes : a comprehensive guide to emergency planning and crisis survival by Matthew Stein
Call # 361.5 S819


Designing resilience : preparing for extreme events, edited by Louise K. Comfort, Arjen Boin, and Chris C. Demchak.
Call # 361.5 D4575

Facing catastrophe : environmental action for a post-Katrina world by Robert R.M. Verchick.
Call # 361.5 V481

The neighborhood emergency response handbook : your lifesaving plan for personal and community preparedness by Scott Finazzo
Call # 361.5 F4914

A paradise built in hell : the extraordinary communities that arise in disasters by Rebecca Solnit.
Call # 361.5 S688

The social roots of risk : producing disasters, promoting resilience by Kathleen Tierney.
Call # 301.5 T564


15 minutes outside: 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids by Rebecca P. Cohen
Call # 372.1 C67877

Backpacking with the saints: wilderness hiking as spiritual practice by Belden C. Lane.
Call # 210 L265-1

The carry home: lessons from the American wilderness by Gary Ferguson.
Call # 136.2 F352

Home grown : adventures in parenting off the beaten path, unschooling, and reconnecting with the natural world by Ben Hewitt.
Call # 371.394 H611

How to raise a wild child: the art and science of falling in love with nature by Scott D. Sampson.
Call # 372.57 S192

The nature principle: human restoration and the end of nature-deficit disorder by Richard Louv.
Call # 136.2 L894-1

Speaking with nature: awakening to the deep wisdom of the earth by Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts.
Call # 210 I47

Step into nature: nurturing imagination and spirit in everyday life by Patrice Vecchione.
Call # 155 V39