You don’t have to live in Tornado Alley or on a coast to experience the devastation of a hurricane, tornado or other windstorm. With hurricane season officially in full effect and as many as 30 named storms predicted for
, it is important to be prepared in case of a natural disaster.
The Family Handyman recommends the following tips to protect your home and family, and minimize costly damage from hurricanes and other windstorms. Image from: www.public-domain-photos.com
1. Invest in hurricane windows: Windows are the most vulnerable part of your house, so invest in hurricane windows that will withstand windstorm damage, survive longer than ordinary ones and save you a bundle.
2. Establish an evacuation plan: Make sure you have an emergency evacuation plan in place to ensure the quickest route to safety.
3. Trim troublesome trees: Storms wreck havoc on trees—be sure to have a professional remove or trim large, high branches that are a threat to you, your property and neighbors.
4. Invest in an emergency generator: Hurricanes and other windstorms frequently cause power outages, but an emergency generator will enable you to run essential appliances and lights.
5. Prepare an emergency care kit: Make sure you assemble a survival kit so you have it ready when a natural disaster hits. Include:
a. Flashlights with extra batteries or a crank-up model
b. Portable radio with extra batteries or a crank-up model
c. First-aid kit
d. Necessary medical supplies including prescription drugs
e. At least one gallon of drinking water per person per day for at least three days
f. Three-day supply of ready-to-eat food
g. Manual can opener
h. A waterproof, fireproof container with valuable papers
6. Lock down: If you’re at home during a hurricane, lock doors and windows to reduce vibration, and close drapes and blinds to contain broken glass. Most importantly, stay away from windows.
7. Stabilize broken windows: If a window cracks during a not-too-fierce storm, put duct tape over the crack to prevent it from spreading.
8. Wait it out: Are hurricane winds suddenly dying off? Be patient—it is common for tornadoes to follow soon afterward. Another possibility is that the eye of the storm is passing overhead. Regardless, it is important to stay indoors in a low, windowless, structurally strong location until you are sure it’s safe to go outside.