Securing your Home for Severe Tornadoes 150mph+

Unlike other weather events, tornadoes form quickly and often arrive with little to no warning. Each year they impact locations across the nation, bringing strong winds and destruction that results in billions of dollars of damage. And along with the devastation, there are also countless deaths and injuries. While you can’t prevent a tornado from hitting your home, you can take steps to protect your family and prep your home for severe tornadoes.

Home for Severe Tornadoes
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Identify Hazards Outdoors

A great place to start when securing your home from tornados is outside. The winds accompanying these storms can exceed speeds of 200 mph, making it possible for debris to be thrown hundreds of feet.

You will want to secure and remove items that can cause problems later, such as patio furniture, children’s toys, fallen tree limbs, potted plants, etc. Yet, another factor to consider is the torrential rain that often comes from these storms. Therefore, you’ll want to check your downspouts, gutters, and roof as a precaution. 

Look for things such as broken or clogged gutters, problem trees, and areas of concern on your roof. Damaged items will need to be repaired, but doing something as simple as cleaning your gutters will make a big difference. And regardless of where you live, this process is essential, so you should even think about securing your home and gutter cleaning in Potomac, MD. You never know where these storms will hit!

Secure All Doors

Next, you’ll want to secure entry and garage doors. Begin by ensuring that each entry door has three hinges, a two-inch deadbolt lock, and screws long enough to attach it to the frame. Some people go as far as to install steel wind-resistant doors, but even then, you need to make sure the frame is not the weak point. 

Then we come to one of the most vulnerable areas of your home – the garage door. If the garage door is not secure and becomes ripped off by the wind, it can ultimately compromise the integrity of your home’s structure. 

The good news is that you may already be okay if your home has a one-car garage. However, for those with double or oversized garages, it’s recommended that they install vertical metal bracing. 

Install Shutters or Impact Resistant Windows

Since tornadoes form suddenly, installing permanent storm shutters or impact-resistant windows is the easiest way to protect your home. If you are looking for the simplest and most reliable way, storm shutters are your way to go. These can be either permanent ones you have professionally installed, or you can create your own temporary ones from plywood. 

Though it’s the more costly option, impact-resistant windows add the ultimate layer of protection to your house. These windows are less likely to shatter when a flying object hits, thus reducing the likelihood of property damage or injuries. 

Home for Severe Tornadoes
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Enhance Your Roof Structures

Enhancing your roof structures is one of the more extreme steps you can take, but it often makes all the difference. If you are looking to protect your home from severe tornadoes, you’ll want to invest in roof covering and sheathing that’s rated for high winds. 

It’s also crucial to determine how your roof is attached. Typically, this is done using roofing nails that are inserted at an angle, but tops like this can be taken right off. Instead, it’s recommended that the roof is attached using hurricane clips. 

Build or Designate a Safe Room

Depending on your current situation, the final step in securing your home from severe tornadoes is to build or designate a safe room. This room should be stocked with essential supplies like water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, and travel medical kits to help you manage until the tornado passes.

At the very minimum, you and your family should have a room designated where everyone will meet in the event of an emergency. This room should be in the basement or lowest level of your house, away from windows and doors, with the best alternate options being a small closet or bathroom in the center of the home.

However, FEMA suggests that anyone living in a tornado-prone area should invest in a proper safe room. These structures are hardened and specifically designed to provide near absolute protection from a severe tornado with winds of 150mph or greater.

Following our steps above will ensure that your home and family are prepared for the worst. And even if a tornado never hits your area, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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