Caring for Your Home during Tornado Season: What to Know
If you have lived in Oklahoma longer than a few months, you’ve probably heard about the importance of caring for your home during tornado season. Did you know that the tornadoes that hit the South in 2019 took the lives of over 40 people, and hundreds were injured? In fact, according to the CDC, those tornadoes caused over $7 Billion in damage.
That’s a pretty good reason to learn how to take care of your home during a tornado, right? If there are any preventative measures you can take before tornado season, it’s a good idea to take action, but just remember, once a tornado warning has been issued, you need only to worry about your personal safety and that of your family.
Before Tornado Season
Make sure your home insurance is up to date. Go ahead and do a home inventory of your belongings. Once you have it written up, store it somewhere online or in a safety deposit box. This will help you if you have to make a home insurance claim on your property after a tornado has hit.
To prepare for tornadoes, it’s smart to make a plan, run your family through a tornado drill so that they know what to do when an emergency comes, prepare an emergency kit, be aware of where your closest storm shelters are, and stay alert of all weather conditions. NOAA Weather has further tornado safety tips you can follow.
Know where the closest storm shelter or safe room is. Follow the FEMA guidelines if you want to build a safe room in your home. If you live in a mobile home or trailer park, evacuate to the safest location near you. 71% of the victims of the 2019 tornadoes lived in mobile homes or in a trailer park.
Prepare your home to be more resistant to high winds and rains that are expected with tornados if possible. Often, during tornadoes, trees are a big problem. They fall on buildings, destroying property. If possible, before tornado season, prune or trim the trees closest to your property and remove any branches facing your home or office building.
During Tornado Season
Tornado season usually happens between the months of March and May or between the seasons of late spring and early summer. In fact, while tornadoes can occur at any time, they are most commonly found between the hours of 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM. Although there is no guaranteed safety during any tornado, extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are rare.
If you can safely prepare your home during tornado season, go ahead and secure any heavy or tall furniture like bookcases or shelving units with accessories such as brackets. Do the same with any large appliances. You can use braided wires, flexible cable, or metal straps.
For your windows and doors, you can board them up using plywood, aluminum, or steel. Secure them to an exterior wall if possible. Duct tape and masking tape probably will not protect your doors and windows from breakage during a tornado, but specially-designed screens and fabrics may do the trick.
To avoid flying debris, make sure you are in a room on the lowest level of your home, if you live in a high-rise home, for example. Follow any tornado watch and seek shelter right away to ensure you are safe. If possible, grab a first aid kit, a flashlight, necessary medications, a weather radio, and anything else you have set aside for emergency preparedness.
It’s important that you take these actions before a warning has been issued. If a warning has been given, you need to get yourself to a safe room or storm shelter - a safe location where you can wait out the storm. Do not take preventative measures once a tornado warning has been issued. You must worry about your personal safety and that of your family first.
After Tornado Season
Once a tornado has passed, it’s time to assess the damage. You may want to talk to your insurance agency if your home or business has been damaged. Be sure to take pictures of the damage right away. Won’t it feel good once you’ve fixed everything up to see the before and after pictures?
Once a tornado has passed, it’s a good idea to make phone calls to your friends and family to let them know you have followed all safety measures and survived, following an emergency plan. If your utilities are down, call your utility companies to find out when they will be restored.
While caring for your home during tornado season is crucial, be sure to put your personal safety first. Always follow the news and listen to your battery-powered radio during the storm, so you are safe and aware of what is going on.
Once it’s over, say a prayer that you and your family are safe. Then, you can worry about the care of your property and belongings.
Finally, to make sure your property sparkles once again and your doors and windows are shiny bright, you may want to call a professional service like Shine® to help you out! We do professional window washing, pressure washing of the exterior of your home or business, gutter cleaning, and many other services you may need.
Our services can help you as you rebuild and remodel your home to look as good as it did when it was new! Be sure to give us a call today or hop online and grab a free estimate to see how we can best serve your needs.
With Shine®, you know you are getting the best service around. We guarantee our work; that’s how sure we are that you will walk away pleased. Stay safe this tornado season!