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Strengthen Your Home

Some of the easier things you can do around your home before a storm hits land is to;

     Cover windows with either shutters that fit the entirety of the windows or attach the proper size plywood. If you don’t want to or are unable to tackle the project yourself, ask for referrals from friends or shutter companies in your area.

     Trim trees so that the old and dead limbs don’t break off and become projectiles, however, you may want to leave it to the professionals that are certified arborists in your area. 

     Secure loose outdoor furniture by either taking them inside or tying down the heavier items. If you don’t need it, move it to an inside location. If it’s too heavy, you could hire someone.

     Secure all doors as you would with the windows. Weather.gov advises to remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand the winds.

     Move your cars to a safe location. Inside your garage would be the best place, however, not all garages have room for all the vehicles. You could ask a friend who may have an empty stall to share.

Weather.gov advises, if you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Many of these retrofits do not cost much or take as long to do as you may think.

According to FloridaDisaster.org, there are 5 critical areas that should be inspected and reinforced on your home to possibly reduce the amount of wind damage. Roofs, Straps, Windows, Doors, and Garage doors. Please refer to their website for more information.

Have you ever given thought to preparing a safe room should you are unable to leave and have to seek shelter within your home?

Fema is a resource that has some great information about preparing a safe room in your home. They go on to explain that extreme windstorms in many parts of the country pose a serious threat to buildings and their occupants. Your residence may be built “to code,” but that does not mean it can withstand winds from extreme events such as tornadoes and major hurricanes. The purpose of a safe room or a wind shelter is to provide a space where you and your family can seek refuge that provides a high level of protection.

You can build a safe room in one of several places in your home: Atop a concrete slab-on-grade foundation or garage floor or an interior room on the first floor. To protect its occupants, a safe room must be built to withstand high winds and flying debris, even if the rest of the residence is severely damaged or destroyed.

Consider the following when building a safe room:

• The safe room must be adequately anchored to resist overturning and uplift.

• The walls, ceiling, and door of the shelter must withstand wind pressure and resist penetration by windborne objects and falling debris.

• The connections between all parts of the safe room must be strong enough to resist the wind.

• Sections of either interior or exterior residence walls that are used as walls of the safe room, must be separated from the structure of the residence so that damage to the residence will not cause damage to the safe room.

If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room.

If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:

• Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.

• Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.

• Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm—winds will pick up again.

• Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.

• Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.

Be sure to check with your local authorities, each have pages of information you can refer to particular to the city where you live. The building department is a great resource to use as well.