Tornado Central: Security Tips for You & Your Home

Springtime is often a pleasant time of year that is accompanied by incoming warmer weather and the growth of flowers and plants. However, it is also often a fearful time of year, particularly for people living in the Midwest. The Midwest typically experiences some of the highest annual tornado occurrences with an average of 96 tornadoes occurring in Kansas alone. Fortunately, you can still enjoy the springtime weather with a few security tips for you and your home.

Add Reinforcements to Your Home

The roof of your home is a source of protection. However, bad weather can threaten to destroy your roof. At the minimum, a tornado can damage roofing tiles or shingles. However, a devastating tornado can tear the roof of your home, leaving you at the mercy of the elements.

Typically, the connection between the roof and your home, or the trusses, is made using a toenail. A toenail is described as a nail that is hammered in at an angle to help hold the roof in place. However, if you pull on the connection hard enough, the nail will pull out easily enough, meaning a strong enough wind from a tornado can do the same.

Although there is little to no protection against larger scale tornadoes, that does not mean you should forego the fortification of your home. Proper fortification can provide you with an uplift protection range between 300 and 1,500 pounds. One way to protect your home is to install galvanized-steel clips. Although the clips are usually used to protect against hurricane winds, they can also provide additional protection against strong winds produced by tornadoes.

Another way to fortify and improve the security of your roof is to have a professional install a wind-resistant roof on your home. Although this is an expensive approach, it is one that could increase the security of your home and perhaps save your life. Wind resistant roofs include asphalt, metal and tile roofs. 

Asphalt shingles are typically available with a 130-mile-per-hour wind warranty, making them useful in areas that experience high winds, such as tornado alley. Metal is yet another type of roof that is recommended for high wind requirements. Finally, the proper installation of tile roofing can provide critical protection against high winds thanks to its solid, long-lasting quality.

Know Where to Seek Shelter

For additional security and safety, you should avoid particular areas of your home. For example, if you own a two-story home, seek shelter on a lower floor. Should high winds from the tornado cause damage to your roof, you are susceptible to injury should you remain on the upper floors of your home.

Instead, seek shelter in a basement. If no basement is available, seek shelter in a centrally located closet. A bathtub may also serve as a life-saving position within your home to take shelter. If you choose to seek shelter in your tub, throw a mattress or board over you to protect against falling debris.

In the event that the roof is blown off your home, a tornado can suck you from your source of safety. However, the strong framing surrounding the tubs combined with pipes that tend to go deep underground make it an ideal location if there is just one or two people in need of a source of shelter.

Invest Money in Your Safety

Aside from investing money into the structural safety of your home, it is also best to invest money into your overall safety. For example, you can have a safe room installed in your home that meets FEMA specification for approximately $2,000 or more. A safe room or storm shelter can male all the difference between life and death if there is no basement level in your home.

Make sure you also hire roofing contractors and invest money to repair any damages to your roof as soon as possible. Ignoring damages to your roof could reduce the security of your home should you experience yet another tornado in the area.