Preparation Is The Key
By Mark Sheppler
When a storm is coming, do not waste your time worrying. Use it wisely by preparing. Preparing for a storm requires great attention to detail and a logical system, so you must start as soon as possible. If local authorities order an evacuation of the area, do so. If you are permitted to stay during a storm there are still some precautions worth taking. Here are some tips to help you survive storms with the least financial risk and physical injury.
Into the Shelter All of You
What you don’t want to lose, you should store properly. This is what garages and warehouses are for. Keep your vehicles inside your garage and keep them there especially a few hours before the storm breaks.
Aside from your vehicles, store whatever you want to keep and protect in your garage or a warehouse exactly built for storm sheltering purposes. Bring in your potted plants if you value them. Get the dog out of the dog house and into your house or into the barn.
Reinforce Your Home
There’s no sense in waiting out the storm in a home that could not withstand one. Your glass windows can easily shatter, causing you and your family grievous injury for which you’re unlikely to get help in a raging storm. Your home may not be sealed against gale-force winds.
You must protect your home, the most important shelter of all, against storms. Do this by installing shutters that can withstand the impact of extremely strong winds. There are storm panels that can be put on before the storm and taken off after. There are also permanently installed shutters which you can pull in or out whenever a storm’s coming. Moreover, there are especially manufactured glass windows that can resist the winds’ and storm debris’ impacts.
You must arrange for extensive roof assessment. You must reinforce parts of your roof that needs reinforcing, plug up holes where there are, or better yet, replace your roof with storm resistant and durable roofing materials. You must aim for roofing that will stand firm against strong gusts of winds as well as weather the impact of anything the storm brings down crashing on it.
By the way, before the storm comes, unplug all of your appliances to prevent electrocution if lightning hits your home. If at all possible, put up some lightning rods.
When the Storm Hits and You’re Outdoors
As much as possible, you have to arrange to be in your structurally reinforced homes whenever a storm is forecasted. If this is not possible, however, you must do everything necessary to get as much shelter as you can wherever you are.
Say you’re in the street when the storm suddenly hits, you must go into the nearest building which can offer you some protection against the wind and windblown hazardous rubble. Choose a building made of permanent building materials (e.g. concrete). If you are nowhere near such a building, get inside your car, close the car windows, avoid touching metal parts, and wait. If you get caught without a building or a car to hide in, go for the shortest tree shelter you can find and avoid tall trees, lamp posts and other tall infrastructure that are likely lightning targets.