How to prepare your home for a hurricane or tornado

Have more questions? Submit a request

There are things you can do to prepare your home in advance of a severe wind event in order to protect yourself and reduce damage.

While severe wind events like hurricanes or tornadoes can be very scary there are things you can do in advance of a severe wind event to harden your home and make it less susceptible to damage. 

How to prepare your home for a severe wind event

Hurricane and tornado season can be a dangerous time of year, but by preparing your home and taking the right precautions, you can help protect yourself, your family, and your property. Here are some important steps to take when preparing your home for a hurricane or tornado:

  • Conduct a home hazard assessment: Check your home for potential hazards, such as loose roof shingles, weak chimneys, and large trees that could fall on your house. Take action to repair or remove these hazards.
  • Strengthening the roof: A properly secured and reinforced roof built to modern building codes can prevent wind from lifting it off the house. The best roof shape for high winds will have multiple panels (such as a hip roof with four slopes) to reduce wind loads. A metal roof is also extremely wind resilient.
  • Installing impact-resistant windows and doors, or covering them with shutters: These can prevent wind-borne debris from breaking windows and damaging the interior of the home. In many cases, installing hurricane-impact windows or shutters may lower property insurance costs, offering another financial benefit.
  • Trimming trees and vegetation: Some types of trees and vegetation around the building can act as natural windbreaks in the event of storms, but if they are too close to the home, or have dead limbs, they can also cause damage. Be sure not to place too close and trim regularly.
  • Building a safe room: A safe room built to withstand severe winds can provide a safe place for the occupants to take shelter during a storm. Storm shelters can typically be made out of concrete or metal or be located underground.
  • Retrofitting the house: Retrofitting a house to make it more wind-resistant can include installing impact-resistant shutters over large windows, adding bracing to the roof and walls, reinforcing gable end walls and garage doors, and adding anchors to tie the house down to the foundation.
  • Have a backup power source: Invest in a generator or portable battery backup system in case of a power outage.
  • Keep important documents safe: Store important documents, such as insurance policies, birth certificates, and passports, in a water-resistant, fireproof container.
  • Be prepared for power outages: Keep a supply of candles, matches, and a portable stove or grill for cooking. Make sure you have plenty of batteries for flashlights and other battery-operated devices.

By following these steps, you can help protect your home and ensure that you and your family stay safe during a hurricane or tornado. Remember to take these precautions seriously and to always be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Learn more

Articles in this section

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful