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Wind damage is the most common disaster-related expense and usually accounts for 70% or more of the insured losses reported worldwide.
Many natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, microbursts or thunderstorms and winter storms include damaging winds. And certain parts of the world experience high winds on a normal basis due to wind patterns.
Realize when extreme winds strike they are not constant - they rapidly increase and decrease. A home in the path of wind causes the wind to change direction. This change in wind direction increases pressure on parts of the house creating stress which causes the connections between building components to fail. For example, the roof or siding can be pulled off or the windows can be pushed in.
Strengthen weak spots on home
Experts believe there are four areas of your home that should be checked for weakness -- the roof, windows, doors and garage doors. Homeowners can take some steps to secure and strengthen these areas but some things should be done by an experienced builder or contractor.
-- Truss bracing or gable end bracing (supports placed strategically to strengthen the roof)
-- Anchors, clips and straps can be installed (may want to call a professional since sometimes difficult to install)
WINDOWS and DOORS:
-- Storm shutters (for windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and skylights) or keep plywood on hand
-- Reinforced bolt kits for doors
-- Certain parts of the country have building codes requiring garage doors to withstand high winds (check with local building officials)
-- Some garage doors can be strengthened with retrofit kits (involves installing horizontal bracing onto each panel)
Secure mobile homes
Make sure your trailer or mobile home is securely anchored. Consult the manufacturer for information on secure tiedown systems.
Secure or tie down loose stuff
Extreme winds can also cause damage from flying debris that can act like missiles and ram through walls, windows or the roof if the wind speeds are high enough. You should consider securing large or heavy equipment inside and out to reduce some of the flying debris like patio furniture, barbeque grills, water heaters, garbage cans, bookcases and shelving, etc.
Consider building a shelter or “safe room”
Shelters or “safe rooms” are designed to provide protection from the high winds expected during hurricanes, tornadoes and from flying debris. Shelters built below ground provide the best protection, but be aware they could be flooded during heavy rains.
FEMA provides an excellent free booklet called “Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House” developed in association with the Wind Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University. Learn more by visiting www.fema.gov (do a search on safe rooms)
Also check out Hurricanes: Key Facts About Hurricane Readiness
Above from IT'S A DISASTER!