Rain Ready: Taking on the Mighty Thor

By Dr. Mark LeChevallier – July 24, 2014 – Comment

Jupiter, Thor, Mother Nature, ritualistic rain dances – since the dawn of time, humankind has created ways to explain the inexplicable of weather, change the course of the unchangeable and deal with the harm it could often inflict on innocent communities. The mythical ‘weather gods’ offer people hope, for even if they themselves can’t control the weather, there is comfort in knowing some one or some thing IS in control – that there is a reason why one town can be experiencing floods while another deals with drought. 

This thinking still exists in many shapes and forms. However, an initiative called Rain Ready is defying “the weather gods” and changing the age-old conversation by putting in the hands of people around the world the control they thought was out of reach when it comes to weather phenomena. Started by the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), Rain Ready acknowledges that, while weather events may not be controllable, communities can control the impact of these events.  

Moreover, Rain Ready doesn’t just acknowledge this fact; it empowers individuals, communities, states and regions with the tools to do it! Harriet Festing, Water Program Director at CNT, sums up the power and importance of Rain Ready perfectly, “Through our years of research and advocacy on water management issues, we realized that there was something of a disconnect between information and action. Rain Ready seeks to close that gap by making it easier for homeowners, businesses, and government leaders to create Rain Ready plans.”

Whether you live in a flood- or drought-prone area or not, are a private citizen or civic leader, the Rain Ready website – which is better described as a one-stop tool shop for getting ahead of weather surprises – is worth exploring. The site also demonstrates graphically the devastation being Rain Ready can prevent right now, as well as its necessity for the future, as global climate changes indicate an increasingly warmer and wetter world.

Utilizing videos, fact sheets, educational articles, planning tools and best practices, the site gives people an extensive resource for taking action. Just some of the tools and topics for the various players include:

  • Homeowners: buying-and-selling, home assessment, absorbent sidewalks, appliances that better help manage water within the home
  • Cities & Towns: community needs assessment, federal & state support, developer incentives, property improvements
  • States & Regions: innovation & technology, responsible practices on government land, critical natural defenses, multi-state coordination

With all it has to offer, the Rain Ready platform’s purest power comes from taking the control and responsibility out of the hands of “mythical gods” and putting it where it belongs: in the hands of everyone. By focusing on residents, communities and states integrating their efforts, it paints a clear picture of the practical solutions and peace of mind to be had on every level.