Charles Hatfield and the Lost Art of Rainmaking
Charles Hatfield began looking into pluviculture, the act of artificially inducing rain, in the early years of the 20th century. His experiments produced a secret chemical formula that he claimed was able to create rain. Though he took his formula to the grave, he allegedly had about 500 successes in making rain. While all of these are not documented, many of his apparent successes did make the news.
He attempted to fill Big Bear Lake and water crops for many farmers. However, his biggest success, and failure, occurred when he was hired by the city of San Diego. Though it’s unproven if it was Hatfield’s doing, it rained for days on end, resulting in damage and flooding. There were many deaths and infrastructure in the city was destroyed.
Preparing for Strong Storms
While people want it to rain when it has been dry for a long time, they all must consider what it is going to take to keep their home safe if a rainmaker like Hatfield could in fact increase precipitation. In valleys where the land could easily flood, people must make sure they have made preparations to ensure that they are safe in case their rainmaker’s rain never stops.
Storm preparation is a very important part of any family’s emergency plan. It is important to take into account the construction of your home and the layout so you can be can be ready for storms whenever they roll through the area. Plan what to do in the event of a storm if you do not have a basement. The basement is the best place to seek shelter when major storms are coming through the area.
There must be preparations made to ensure that the basement can be kept dry if rain water makes its way into the house. Install sump pumps in the basement to remove water as it is coming in and keep the water level as low as possible.
Make sure your gutters are clean and free of debris by checking them routinely, especially if you know a storm is on the horizon. Downspouts are designed to move water away from the foundation of your home, so it is imperative to check that they are effectively moving water away from your property.
Though rainmaking has been discredited by modern meteorology, its an interesting part of history to explore. Rainmakers in the early 1900’s are generally thought to have been frauds. Many of them were traveling showmen who saw an opportunity to make some money. When a rainmaker like Mr. Hatfield is called in to make some rain, be prepared for an emergency if it doesn’t stop.