Your home may feel like a haven, but it can become a dangerous place in the event of a tornado. And when it comes to natural disasters, there’s no way to over-prepare.
There are a few things you can do to avoid potential damage. Keep reading for our top five tips to keep your home—and yourself—protected during a tornado.
1. Reinforce Your Roof
Your roof is one of your home’s primary defenses during a tornado. To help your roof stay attached to the house, consider installing hurricane straps or clips—these latch on between the rafters and the studs of a load-bearing wall to keep it secure.
If your roof is getting older or isn’t tornado-proof, consider getting a replacement. Metal roofs are ideal for high-risk areas because they are far more durable than clay tiles or asphalt shingles.
There are plenty of styles to choose from whether you are looking for metal roofing Indianapolis or Oklahoma City.
2. Minimize Outdoor Hazards
Depending on the severity of the storm, the winds accompanying a tornado can surpass 300mph. This windspeed makes it easy for debris and outdoor items to whirl around your home. Potential hazards may include outdoor furniture, children’s toys, potted plants, large tree branches, and more.
To avoid these items hitting your house and causing damage, be sure to secure everything before the storm comes.
Walk around your property and assess potential risks. Shift outdoor items in your garage storage or home to prevent them from getting caught in the wind.
Additionally, if there are any noticeable leaks or other damage to your home’s exterior, consider repairing them before the storm so that they don’t worsen.
This doesn’t mean you have to compromise on any of the luxuries. You can invest in a portable pool deck so that you can move it easily before getting hit by a tornado.
3. Fortify your Windows and Doors
When not appropriately secured, windows and doors can shatter or become potential flying hazards during a tornado. To avoid this, add a little reinforcement to each area.
Adding storm shutters to your windows will help prevent the glass from shattering due to the wind or debris. If you don’t have time for professionally installed shutters, bracing the windows with plywood will work just as well in a pinch.
Consider adding bracing to each of the doors in your house, particularly garage doors. Metal bracing and stiffeners will provide the best support, but you can also use wood if a storm is already near.
4. Invest in a Safe for Important Documents
If your home is at risk, you’ll want to ensure your smaller valuables are safe. Important documents or small family heirlooms should be secure in a small, portable safe.
When selecting a safe, you will want to choose one that is fire-proof, water-proof, or both. This way, you can ensure your documents remain protected.
The safe should be small enough to be portable. That way, if your family needs to evacuate, you can bring your safe with you. It may also be a good idea to keep an extra copy of important documents in a safe deposit box at your bank.
5. Designate a Safe Room
No matter how fortified your home is, it is still a good idea to set a designated safe room in your home. This way, in the event a tornado approaches your home, your family will know exactly where to go.
An optimal safe room is the center of the home and on the lowest level. Ideally, you want to avoid rooms with windows. Generally, closets and bathrooms are the safest options.
Once you have chosen your safe room, keep it stocked with a storm emergency kit. This kit should include flashlights, batteries, radios, a first-aid kit, bottled water, and non-perishable food.
Tornados are a natural hazard, but you can be proactive and keep your home fortified against them. There’s no such thing as too much planning when it comes to tornados, so we hope these tips help to keep you and your family safe.