The horrifying, destructive force of tornadoes is a reminder of how powerful nature is. A tornado is capable of picking up and tossing a car, ripping through a building, and turning everyday objects into deadly projectiles. We can’t physically stop a tornado, but you can do your part to keep your family as safe as possible by learning how to prepare your home for tornado season.
Identify Vulnerable Areas
Some parts of your house are more vulnerable to tornadoes than others. Focus your attention on preparing these areas before it gets too far into March. Some ideas include:
- Installing an impact-resistant garage door.
- Reinforcing the chimney with steel supports.
- Having a supply of plywood ready to install in the windows.
- Arranging for a roof inspection for weak places and loose shingles.
- Looking for and sealing gaps in the building’s mortar.
Anyone who has ever experienced a tornado will tell you it doesn’t just affect the home’s exterior. Inside the house, identify tall, heavy furniture that’s likely to topple over, such as cabinets or wardrobes. Attach them to the walls with brackets, and install a means of keeping the doors shut. This will add an extra layer of protection to the belongings inside.
Remove Yard Hazards
A tornado will turn the items in your yard into weapons against your home. For instance, it may pick up lawn furniture and gardening supplies and send them flying through windows or, worse, into people. If possible, stow furniture away in sheds or garages before the weather gets too bad.
Also, be aware of how far tree branches are from the house. When the wind picks up, it can send tree branches through rooftops if they’re too close together. Before tornado season is the perfect time to prune oaksas well as other varieties of trees. This way, you’ll be able to curtail far-reaching branches before disease-carrying beetles, which might damage a newly pruned tree, become active.
Have a Plan in Place
Preparing a home for tornado season doesn’t end with the house itself. You and your family need to be prepared beforehand in the case of a tornado touchdown. Make sure you and your children know what a siren sounds like and what the sky looks like before a tornado. From there, designate a windowless interior room or basement as a safe place, and instruct kids not to stir from this place until the danger has passed. It’s also a good idea to keep an emergency kit stored in your home’s safe room. This kit should include a first aid kit, a flashlight, a radio, extra batteries, and a supply of water and nonperishable food.
Tornadoes can be a scary topic for kids. But showing them your family is prepared to respond to inclement weather will ease their minds.