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tornado and hurricane safety tips

Tornado and hurricane safety means getting your home and family ready to weather the storm when it come thundering your way.

There are simple things you can do to secure your home and belongings, and preparations you can easily make to ensure your family knows what to do and who to call if members are separated.

These hurricane safety tips can help prepare your home and family for the storms ahead.

preparing your home for impending wind and rain.

A home with hurricane shutters and doors can prevent whipping rains from coming inside through broken windows or a patio or garage door. In addition to exposing your home to greater damage, water leaks can quickly weaken the structure of your home. Strong winds that enter a house through broken windows or a patio or garage door will weaken the structure of your home, exposing it to greater damage.

To protect your windows from breaking, have storm shutters installed or create your own by buying precut sheets of 3/4-inch (2cm) plywood to fit each window. Make sure they fit snugly and can be attached onto the window quickly.

Many companies offer braces that will protect your vulnerable patio and garage doors from high winds. You might want to consider installing a new garage door that has been hurricane rated. Make sure there are no leaks in your roof, and check the wind turbine regularly.

Keep large plastic trash bags and drop cloths on hand to spread over furniture, computers, and other home valuable in the event that your roof springs a leak.

During storm season, clean your yard of all loose objects - such as potted plants, bicycles, trash cans, and patio furniture. These items can become flying lethal weapons in the grip of a raging storm. 

what to do when a hurricane or tornado is forecast or imminent.

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane or tornado. When a hurricane or tornado is heading your way, here's what to do:

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep the door closed as much as possible in case the power goes out.
  • Be packed and ready to leave if advised to do so by authorities. Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
  • Close windows, doors, and hurricane shutters. 
  • Fill your car's gas tank. This ensure's you're ready to roll in the event of an evacuation.

have a tornado or hurricane safety plan for your family

Make sure you and your family have a personal evacuation plan in the even of a hurricane, and a safe zone in your home in the case of a tornado.

Determine where or how you'll find each other should a hurricane hit. Choose several places - a friend's home in another town, a shelter, or a hotel. Each family member should put the phone numbers of your designed spots into their mobile phones. Also keep a road map handy: If your regular routes are clogged or closed, you may need to take unfamiliar roads.

Before a tornado is headed your way, pick a spot in your building where family members can gather in relative safety. It might be your basement; if there is no basement, choose a hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place free of clutter. By knowing in advance where you're going to go, even if a hurricane or tornado catches you by surprise, you'll have your go-to spot for safety.

supplies you'll need in case of a tornado or hurricane.

  • Water - at least a 3-day supply. Plan for on gallon per person, per day.
  • A first aid kit and disaster survival supplies. Be sure to include medications (7-day supply) and medical items such as glasses and contact lenses.
  • Family and emergency contact list.
  • Extra cash.
  • Tools and supplies for securing your home.
  • Food - at least a 3-day supply. Choose non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food.
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio. Choose a NOAA Weather Radio, if possible. 
  • Copies of personal documents. This would include a medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies.

final tornado and hurricane safety tips.

You're at the mercy of Mother Nature when she unleashes her strongest elements. If you put hurricane safety measures into place now - and prepare your home and family before storms darken the skies - you'll rest easier knowing your family is safe.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for products and supplies to keep your home and family safe in the event of a hurricane or tornado.



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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.