Stephanie Abrams Wants to Make You 'Weather Proof'

This afternoon's cuppa: Hazelnut coffee

Even in sunny Southern California, we can have severe weather. Don't believe me? Click here and here for the proof. It not only rains in Southern California, it snows, man, it snows.

Newton_Wimer_Stephanie_Abrams_WeatherProof.jpgStarting Sunday, Jan. 24, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, The Weather Channel premieres "Weather Proof," a new series that tests the limits of ordinary objects using simulations of extreme weather conditions.

A la "MythBusters," the show takes on some urban legends and unlikely scenarios, but it also wants to give people solid advice on weather-proofing their homes and lives.

The co-hosts are (in photo, on right) veteran meteorologist Stephanie Abrams (also the co-host of TWC's "Wake Up With Al" and "Your Weather Today") and (in photo, on left) Newton Wimer, and together they guide viewers through scenarios like tornadoes and floods to camping and tough winter conditions.

I shot Abrams a few questions, and she was kind enough to respond. See below:

Q: People talk a lot about what may or may not happen with the climate in the years to come, but it's the weather that affects people's lives most on a daily basis. Do you think we sometimes underestimate or fail to consider the effect of weather?


A: Yes, we underestimate the weather and never think severe weather will happen to us.  If a rainy day turns into a flash flood, we think it will not affect us. We don't expect the worst of Mother Nature which makes us unprepared for what is to come. 


Q: If you could change one thing about houses in hurricane zones, what would it be?


A: Homes in hurricanes zones should be built property with the right types of windows, garage doors, roofs and shutters that are built to withstand high winds, rain and debris. People that live in hurricane zones should also be prepared to leave their homes when the threat worsens and have an emergency kit with food and supplies.


Q: Same question in tornado-prone areas.


A: For tornado-prone areas, it's very important for people to seek underground shelter or move to the innermost room with no windows. Again, be prepared, have a plan and a supply kit handy.


Q: Same question in blizzard-prone areas.


A: In case of a blizzard, homes should have proper insulation and windows installed that help protect and keep homes warm. If power is lost, use a generator but not too close to the house. When clearing snow off the roof or ice in the driveway, be sure to use the proper equipment and tools. When clearing snow off cars, be sure to remove snow from the roof to prevent snow from sliding down and obstructing your view while driving. 


Q: With people commuting long distances and traveling more for business, has the impact ofWeatherProof_Weather_Channel.jpg weather intensified over the days when many people could walk or take a short drive to work?


A: Weather will slow you down no matter the distance or how you commute. Temperatures and conditions outside greatly impact our commute every day. Trying to catch a flight when there's a thunderstorm or driving a short distance to work on icy roads or in a flash flood all play into how powerful weather plays in our commute.


Q: Many people move south or southwest to escape severe weather. Do they find it there anyway?


A: Yes, extreme weather is everywhere and in each quadrant of the U.S . For the Southwest, the extreme heat is what should be taken into consideration. Out West, there are mudslides and earthquakes; the Southeast deals with hot, humid temperatures in addition to hurricanes.


Q: At what time did weather most impact your life?


A: Hurricane Andrew impacted me most. That happened when I was a kid and was when I initially got interested in weather. I remember watching and seeing the destruction and was curious about how and why wind and rain could cause so much destruction.