Since the days before recorded history humans have sought out shelter to protect them from nature. High temperatures, low temperatures, heavy wind and rain all drove the creation of newer and sturdier structures. Today we have gotten so good at building homes to keep out the weather that it’s easy to forget how dangerous it can be. Even cheaper homes can now safely deal with the vast majority of weather scenarios. But what about those rare events when things go beyond the normal?
Every year storms cost Americans billions of dollars. Read the The National Climatic Data Center’s look at flooding, tornadoes and other extreme weather events in 2013 for a sample. Even if you live in an area where the weather seems to be safe and stable it’s worth looking at just how storms damage homes and the families that live inside. Knowing this information is key if you want to protect your home from storms that may strike your city.
Rain is necessary to sustain life on earth but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. If you are living in an area where rain has been known to fall so fast and heavy that flooding can occur you need to think carefully about what will happen if the water level starts to rise around your home. If your house ends up filled with water it can destroy wood, electronics, furniture and more, while leaving your home open to a mold infestation.
The most serious step you can take to prevent flooding is putting a retaining wall up in your yard. This isn’t the most affordable option though, so if you can’t stop the rising water in your yard it’s time to look at stopping the water as it tries to invade your home. See about covering any opening that could let water in, it’s not always possible but every hole or crack you cover is damage averted. If you have a basement it’s worth making sure that any appliances in it are slightly elevated and any valuables stored there are placed inside waterproof containers. It’s also worth investing in proper gutters and cleaning them regularly to make sure that regular rain doesn’t lead to water damage.
Damage to Windows and Doors
The exterior of your home is your first line of defense against the world. Just like any defense some areas are more secure than others. When it comes to homes the windows and doors tend to be weak spots because of the jobs they need to perform. It’s tempting to imagine your doors can stop anything but there’s a real chance it could break into splinters in the middle of a tornado or hurricane.
To prevent this kind of damage it’s best to start at the beginning, by purchasing windows and doors that are built to handle rough weather. The cheapest windows you can find might be fine when the weather is calm but can it be trusted when the wind blows at speeds above a hundred miles per hour?
While buying a heavier door can be helpful it’s important to understand that there is a difference between the storm doors available at your local home store and the type of doors that can stop wooden projectiles being hurled at hundreds of miles per hour by tornado winds. Even if you have sturdy windows and doors you still want to get away from them in case of an emergency. If you want a space that’s safe from even the highest winds then you need a full storm shelter with specially built storm doors.
Loss or Damage of Valuables
If you knew your home was going to be destroyed and you could only save a box full of things what would you take with you? People who have the proper insurance can walk away from storms with enough money to replace most of the things they own but the situation is more difficult when it comes to unique valuables. Think legal documents, cash, jewelry and electronic devices.
The way to deal with this problem is by securing irreplaceable valuables to the best of your ability. The least you can do is placing them in waterproof containers that are far from areas that might flood. Beyond that it’s worth storing valuables in a container such as a safe where they might be safe from all but the most extreme situations. You should also try and create duplicates of documents and computer files and store them separately so even if the original is lost the backup can give you something to work with.
So far we have focused on the ways that storms can damage and destroy your property but in the end they’re all just things. The loss of an item as valuable as a cherished family heirloom is still easier to handle than the loss of a loved one. Every year people are seriously injured or killed by storms and the truly sad fact is that many of these accidents could have been avoided.
The best way to keep people safe during a storm is getting them into a properly designed and constructed shelter. While there may be a community shelter in your area it’s not always possible to safely leave your home when the weather is bad. This is why having a shelter on your property is the best way to keep what’s really valuable safe.
Doing What You Can To Protect Your Home And Family
There is no way to prevent any sort of storm damage from occurring. Nature is beyond human control, but that doesn’t mean that anyone has to give up and accept what the world throws at them. No matter the storm there are steps that can keep you safe during it.
When dealing with a storm people go through three phases, before the storm, during the storm and afterword. Before the storm it’s time to buy insurance, build a shelter and create plans for when the storm strikes. During the storm you’ll have to focus on putting your plan into action and getting to safety. If you invest enough time and effort into planning before a storm and preparing to take action during it then dealing with the aftermath will be as easy as it can be.
In this article we’ve looked at some of the damages that storms can cause and how to prepare to deal with them. Taking proactive steps such as reading this article and taking action as you see fit are the sort of things that will minimize the threat that any storm may pose.
All Rhodes Construction Safe Rooms are 1/4 inch Steel. They Meet and exceed FEMA 320/361 and ICC-500 guidelines. Call (256) 464-3736 or come in to see our line up of storm shelters