The Top 3 Home Renovations to Protect Against Tornadoes - The U.S. experienced 928 documented tornadoes in 2012. These powerful forces are infamous for causing mass destruction to anything in their paths. And with spring being prime time for tornado season, it’s important to understand what you can do to prevent as much damage as possible, should one touch down near your home. As Mother Nature has taught us well, sometimes despite our best efforts, there is nothing we can do to prevent her destruction. Sometimes tornadoes are so strong that your house can’t withstand the high winds and debris. However, there are things you can do right now to take some precautions. After all, experts say 90% of the tornadoes that do form aren’t strong enough to destroy homes that have been reinforced. Here are the top 3 home renovations that can give your home some added protection if a tornado strikes:
1. Fortify your home
This may seem vague at first, but there are specific ways to fortify your home. To protect your roof (the part of the house that typically receives the most destruction), request that your contractor use ring shank nails and hurricane clips. The nails are similar to a screw but hold better than typical nails, while the clips actually connect your roof to the rest of your home. Then, install impact-resistant windows. Even though the price of these windows is up to 30% higher than regular windows, they are designed to withstand severe weather, and are specifically designed so that the outer-pane does not shatter into the home. Although high-pressure rated garage doors cost a few hundred dollars more than regular garage doors, the large space of an attached garage can suffer significant damage during a tornado. Specifically, these large areas create added pressure and get underneath the roof. Your best bet is to ask your contractor what he or she has done to fortify their home and follow their lead. Most people do not like to spend the extra money on their home especially when they don’t get instant satisfaction from the purchase, but these added fortifications could be the difference in saving or losing your home!
2. Invest in in-home warning alerts
Many security systems offer warning systems that are more accurate than a city siren. These systems could give you a few extra minutes to prepare for a tornado – which could make a huge difference for your family! These systems are fairly inexpensive, and many people who have been through a tornado credit them for saving their lives.
3. Install a shelter
Installing a safe room or a shelter in or near your home is one of the best things you can do to ensure that your family is safe during a tornado. Many times these shelters are underground so that flying debris won’t affect you. You can purchase these shelters pre-made or build one for yourself. You may want to consider keeping a safe with important personal belongings inside it, too. Scan your important documents (like your family’s birth certificates or passports and your insurance paperwork) and keep it locked in your shelter. You may also want to consider storing important jewelry and photo albums (or anything else that’s irreplaceable) in the shelter as well. Remember, tornadoes are a force of nature that are difficult to predict and scary for anyone their path. They only offer a few minutes in the way of advance notices, but by preparing now, you can help to protect both your home and your family from potential destruction.
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