We all know the devastation that tornadoes can cause, especially if you live in a tornado prone state like Oklahoma. Unfortunately, during severe weather, tornadoes aren’t the only violent weather that can negatively affect your home – winds alone, can cause severe damage. Most think a storm shelter is solely for tornadoes, but strong winds can make a storm shelter a necessary safe haven. While we can’t control the weather, we can control our home and it’s surroundings. Knowing exactly what areas of your home are vulnerable can help you protect it during severe weather.
Roofs tend to incur the most storm damage of any household component, often being whipped off of it’s ties entirely. And despite common perception, roofs don’t lift off because of wind strength, in fact they blow from a build-up of pressure within the interior of the home. To be technical, it is when the force exerted downward by the roof is surpassed by the combined exterior high pressure, and interior low pressure. And no, opening your interior windows will not relieve this pressure, but a strong, well-built roof can mitigate some of the risk factors. Make sure your roof is solid and in top shape before severe weather season. To help protect your roof from tree damage, make sure to keep your trees pruned, weak branches removed, and trees that overhang your roof cut away from your roof line.
Vinyl siding is an excellent barrier for your home’s exterior, however, it too can take extreme abuse from tornadoes. Hail and flying debris can dent siding, and extreme winds can peel it from it’s connections. In severe cases, large debris such as metal or wooden poles can pierce your home’s exterior wall. To help reduce the chances of flying debris around your home, make sure to keep your property well kept, with any potential debris pieces such as bricks, stones, or old machinery secured or removed.
Tornadoes don’t have to be close by to damage your windows. Pressure from internal and external forces, during a tornado, cause windows and glass doors to shatter. Debris also can puncture windows and cause them to shatter. This is why it is suggested to stay away from windows during tornadoes or high winds. If you have shutters that close, these can help provide another layer of protection for the occupants in your home.
Staying prepared for severe weather can not only protect you and your family, but your home as well. If tornado warnings are issued for your area, a storm shelter is the safest place. Even if no tornado is present, because of the danger of high winds, you should wait it out in a storm shelter with door closed. Preparation can not only save property but more importantly lives.