How to Prepare Your House for a Tornado or Hurricane
Few items can withstand Mother Nature's fury, especially if you don't take the proper precautions. For any such unexpected or unwanted disastrous events, there are ways to withstand or at least be prepared to save yourself, your family and to a certain extent your assets.
Before any such event:
If your house lacks permanent shutters, install your windows with wooden panels to protect yourself from any flying object or windy breeze. Use permanent hurricane shutters on windows and doors, just before the storm season approaches or you get an intimation from local authorities to do so. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for easy installation of screws. Store the panels where you can easily access them during an emergency. Clearly mark each panel so you can quickly determine which window it covers.
The roof of your house is the very first structure of a house which can come apart due to hurricane winds. Reinforce the connection between the roof and walls with hurricane straps and bracing to resist a hurricane's uplift. Also, reinforce double-entry front doors as well as garage doors. Try to clear away any dead or weak tree branches, that may break or damage your house in the high winds from a tornado or an hurricane.
Always create a backup plan like, a primary route or a passage if in case it becomes necessary to leave your home. In such situations there may be little advance notice. Do not panic, determine before time to collect all important things from inside the house. Make sure everyone in the family knows the location of such escape points. Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car and keep weather-resistant clothing and sturdy shoes handy.
Understand that every hurricane is different. Be sure to bring in any furniture lying in your yard. Make sure your gutters and drains are clear to prevent flooding because of the heavy rain's which might often accompany hurricanes. If there are any pets in your house determine in advance what preventive measures you will take for them.
Every member from the family should be familiar with your local severe weather warning system and make it a point that every adult and teenager around knows what to do when a tornado "watch" or "warning" sounds. It is very important and safe to be updated with the weather department, if you are residing at any hurricane or tornado prone areas. Spend some time to study your community's disaster preparation plans.
Secure your self with an emergency kit for any such events beforehand. The emergency kit should include a three-day supply of drinking water and food, first aid supplies, a radio, some basic tools, a flashlight, gloves, few emergency cooking equipments, portable lanterns, fresh batteries enough for every equipment you carry, blankets, baby items, prescription medications, very important carry an extra car and house keys, extra eyeglasses, credit cards and cash and most important never forget to grab documents and insurance policies.
If you have stored personal information on your computer, keep regular backups in an out-of-town location or archive to an Internet service. Consider maintaining a landline or a cordless, as these can become lifesavers if you lose access to television and Internet sources of information during a disaster.