8 Essential Ways to Safe Proof Your Home in Nasty Weather

Jayde Ferguson

The storms are coming and as the nasty weather rolls in, you’ll be hearing more about hurricanes, thunderstorms and hail storms. Preparing your home for any weather condition and ensuring it remains safe is a crucial job for all of us. We check out some essential ways to protect you, your family, your home and your belongings.

1. Secure the Windows 

During severe storms, you should protect your windows. This may mean installing shutters to prevent any damage from flying debris. In addition to installing shutters on windows during storms, you may also want to install shutters on sliding glass doors, skylights, and French doors. These shutters are available in a variety of durable and weather-resistant materials including steel, wood, and aluminium. 

Windows are usually the first item on the home to be compromised during a nasty storm. It's best to have a solution in place in advance to minimize the damage to the interior of the home and its inhabitants. 

2. Repair or Fortify Your Roof

It's important to inspect your roof before and after a storm season and if it has been damaged, ensure you take appropriate measures in fixing the roof. Your roof will need to be able to withstand strong winds and rains, or it could be you and your family in jeopardy. Don't wait until hurricane or tornado season begins to consider the safety of your roof. Repairing and regular roof maintenance should be scheduled all year round.  

If there are any missing shingles, this could increase the risk of potential leaks and holes during a storm. To rectify the situation, many homeowners select impact-resistant roofing to protect against the strong winds and heavy rains. Some roofers will apply cement to the edges of the shingles to secure them or replace shingles on a regular basis to keep families safe. 

3. Advanced Preparation for Blackouts

Prepare in advance for blackouts by purchasing candles, matches, flashlights, and batteries. Something as simple as adequate lighting is a major impediment if you don't have it during a storm. Dangers are often unavoidable without light.

A rechargeable radio is also a good idea if you want to be aware of how the storm is progressing in the area. If your area is prone to harsh weather conditions, it can be a good investment to purchase a backup generator which will come in handy during blackouts.

4. Complete a Risk Assessment Your Home

Always perform a risk assessment of your home and determine where the potential dangers may lie. This should be done at least once every 6 months. The last thing you want to do in an emergency situation is recognise that you're in a dangerous area during the storm and not know what to do. 

Find the safest areas of your home and remove any items that may become a hazard during a storm before it strikes. For instance, a large tree hanging over the roof with rotting roots may become extremely dangerous if lightning strikes it or heavy winds roll in. It may be best to remove the tree or schedule it to be cut back. Simple precautions, like these, can protect your family and prevent costly damages. 
This site provides some comprehensive information on how you assess your home and be ready.

5. Protect Your Basement 

Always keep your gutters clear of debris with “downspouts” pointed away from the foundations of the home. 
This simple task will prevent basement flooding. Professional security companies also offer solutions for flood detection that can help direct homeowners to safety before any major damage occurs. During a flood, don't forget to move to higher levels of your home for maximum protection. 

6. Secure All Loose Items

Loose items may consist of patio furniture, bikes, boats, and even vehicles. Other objects that could become airborne during a storm include trash receptacles, barbeque grills, holiday decorations, swing sets, pool equipment, and gazebos or awnings. Place everything that could become a flying hazard during a storm in the garage. Otherwise, severe damage could occur to the home and its inhabitants. Always protect your family and reduce the risk of catastrophic damage to the home. 

7. Install Hurricane Straps

This is a proactive measure that requires advanced planning, but it will help you keep your roof firmly fastened to the walls. These straps require a professional because they are difficult to install, but most homeowners find that they are worth the investment and peace of mind – especially if the area you live in is prone to hurricanes. Most people cannot consider this a "do-it-yourself" project. 

8. Always Have a Plan

In addition to all of these precautions; a plan of attack in the situation of any harsh weather is vital. When you hear your severe-weather warning system, you need to already know the evacuation routes and the shelter locations.

Having an emergency plan is important, and there should be alternatives in the event that one plan fails. Keep your entire family together and rehearse the drills on a regular basis. You can never be too prepared for any nasty weather that lies ahead.

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson who writes for Air Roofing, specialised roofing contractors in WA with over 120 years’ experience in residential, commercial and industrial roofing.