Even though we are in the middle of it, it’s never the wrong time to prepare your home for cyclone season. Having the supplies needed to provide for your family is essential to weathering the storm. However, taking steps to strengthen your homes structural integrity is also a worthy investment. If ever you find yourself in the path of a cyclone, it can make a difference in your home’s ability to survive the onslaught.
Gather the supplies you and your family will need to survive during the storm now and have them on-hand throughout the season. It’s less stressful to plan now rather than scrambling at the last minute.
- Water — It’s recommended that you have one gallon per person, per day, for a minimum of three days. However, stocking more than the suggested amount couldn’t hurt. Don’t forget to include a water supply for your pets.
- Food — A three (or more) day supply of non-perishable items is a good start. Don’t forget a can opener. Again, provide for your pets.
- Blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, and towels
- Clothes and closed-toe shoes or boots
- NOAA weather radio or battery powered AM/FM radio
- Flashlights and plenty of extra batteries
- Important documents, such as ID’s, bank account records, credit and debit cards, insurance policies, and emergency medical information
- Cash, if possible, because an extended power outage may render your debit and credit cards useless.
- First aid kit
If you have children, make sure to have things to keep them occupied. Games, toys, and drawing supplies help to keep their minds off what is going on around them. Favorite comfort items are also a good idea.
If your pet uses a crate or carrier, have it on hand. It may calm their anxiety.
There are several ways to strengthen your home to better survive a cyclone. Once the winds and the rain gain access, the risk of severe damage or complete destruction greatly increase.
Protecting your home’s windows is paramount. Shattered windows send glass and debris flying everywhere. A severe injury could result in seconds. And once the wind gains entry to your home,
Many homeowners choose to install impact resistant windows. They are made from two or more sheets of tempered glass adhered on either side of a sheet made of high-tech polymer. This makes these windows shatterproof. The glass may crack but will not come apart.
These windows go through rigorous testing and must survive intact. Testing includes impact resistance as well as water and wind testing comparable to that of a cyclone. The amount of damage that they sustain coincides with the rating received.
In addition, impact windows offer other benefits. Not only do they protect against flying debris. Intruders consider windows to be the easiest point of entry. These windows provide excellent protection against home invasion. One felled attempt at smashing the window will likely send invaders packing.
They also rate for energy efficiency, thereby, decreasing your utility costs. Impact windows supply noise reduction and UV protection as well.
Many people choose this form of added storm protection. There are many varieties available. Some are left up year around while others are put up prior to the storm and removed again afterward. Unlike impact resistant windows, however, some shutters completely block the light while others allow some light to filter through them.
Once the winds gain access to your home, they instantly look for a way out again. Rushing up to the attic, they push against the roof squeezing through every tiny crack. The building pressure from the inside coupled with the driving force of the storm outside can rip your roof from your home.
Roof straps or clips attach to the rafters or trusses and anchor to the walls of your home. They are best installed during new construction, but an experienced contractor can retrofit them.
Bracing the underside of your roof with 2x4s is an inexpensive job that increases the strength of your roof. Construction adhesive is another inexpensive protective measure. You simply run a thick bead of an adhesive along the edge of both sides of each rafter. Doing so nearly triples the protection factor of your roof greatly decreasing the chance of it being torn off during the storm.
Your entry doors are another line of defense. If you haven’t installed doors that rate for storm protection, you can brace the ones you have easily enough. You can purchase kits to aid you with this task.
Don’t forget to reinforce your garage door too! Often the garage door is the first thing to go during high winds. The wind shows no mercy once access is gained through the gaping hole that is provided when it’s ripped from your home.
An article about storm prevention may seem an odd time to bring up your yardwork. However, when the ground is saturated due to flooding or heavy rain, you are in danger of losing your trees to the wind. Falling trees cause major damage to homes.
Pruning your trees allows the wind to pass through them easier. This lessens the chance of them blowing over. Remove dead or damaged branches and limbs. You don’t want them to become ammunition for the storm. Bracing young trees before the storm arrives is also a wise choice.
Moreover, if planting new trees in the future, check with your local nursery for wind-tolerant choices. They will assist you in determining which variety suits best for your location.
Ultimately, providing for your family is your top priority. Making sure they’re safe and sound is every parent’s goal.
Taking steps to increase your homes ability to withstand high winds if you live in an area that is threatened by cyclones is wise. Purchasing a home is the biggest investment that most of us make during our lifetime.
Knowing your home is as safe as possible brings you peace of mind for years to come.
Michelle Williams believes construction is in her DNA. She spent many happy summers on the job site alongside her dad. As time passed, writing became her first love. However, she doesn’t hesitate to strap on the tool belt and tackle a project on the side. Her kids love the playhouse!