|PREPARATION FOR STORM DAMAGE AT HOME
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Preparing your home and property for storm damage is important. Just about every region has some type of
weather event that can cause damage. This essay will focus on hurricane damage, wind damage, hail damage, tornado
damage, cold damage, heat damage and how to prepare for each.
Hurricanes can cause extreme damage and require the most preparation since the destruction they cause is
widespread and the severe winds can last for hours. A home in a hurricane prone area needs to be
well fortified and all the materials need to be stored beforehand for protecting the doors and windows.
To fortify the home it is important that it have a strong roof. Extra supports need to secure the
roofing structure to the body of the home. Windows and doors need to be thoroughly and securely covered
before the storm hits. If the windows, doors and roof stay intact then likely the home will survive
the storm. It is a good idea to keep trees well pruned also. Tree limbs falling on the home can do
serious damage and allow water to come pouring into the home.
While not as prolonged as hurricane winds, thunderstorm winds can also cause significant damage. As the
storm approaches it is a good idea to secure as loose object in the yard. Damage can occur as the
wind throws these objects at the home. Stay inside though if the storm is already hitting and you don't
have time. As with hurricanes, significant damage is caused by fallen tree branches. Make sure
tree branches are pruned and the weakest branches removed. If you have time, have the car protected
in a garage if possible.
Hail damage is notorious for causing dents on cars and weakening roofs and shingles. If you have time before
the storm hits make sure the car is placed in a covered area. After a hail storm, make sure no water
is leaking through the roof. An accumulation of wind and hail damage can weaken a roof to the point
that leaks develop. When the roof needs replacement consider getting a roof and shingles that better
protect from wind and hail damage.
Tornado damage is the most difficult to prepare for since the winds are so extreme that destruction can
be very severe even to even well build homes. When a significant tornado approaches the primary thing
to do is to protect your life. If a tornado warning is issued or you have evidence a violent storm is approaching,
go to center most point in the building such as a closet or bathtub on the lowest flood and while covering
yourself crouch down as low as possible. Stay away from windows and listen to battery operated NOAA
weather radio for updates. For a weak tornado the home can survive fairly well if it is well build and
has a reinforced roof.
Cold and heat damage are preventable in many cases. If there is going to be a freeze make sure vegetation
that can't handle a freeze is brought inside or protected so that the temperature will stay above
freezing. Make sure to buy outdoor plants that will survive in the long term in your climate. Make
sure to go through the necessary precautions to prevent pipes from freezing. If you leave the home make
sure it stays heated. Pipes can freeze when the house is not heated and a big cold spell hits. Sun damage
can occur to plants that require shade but get an excess of direct sunlight. Keep in mind which places
around the home have the most direct sunlight and plant plants accordingly.
In conclusion, there are a variety of different types of weather to prepare for. Preparation for these
weather events is wise.