If Irma and Harvey have taught us anything, it's the importance of being prepared for the worst (while hoping for the best, of course.)
Hurricane safety is simply getting your home and family ready to weather the storm when it comes thundering your way.
There are simple, yet effective things you can do to secure your home and belongings, and preparations you can make to ensure your family knows what to do and who to call if members are separated.
Here are 4 tornado and hurricane safety tips can help prepare your home and family for the storms ahead.
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. 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.
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:
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.
Be sure you have a disaster kit stocked for your family, as well as the following supplies you'll need in case of a hurricane or tornado:
Remember, you're at the mercy of Mother Nature when she unleashes her strongest elements. (And she's probably not as nice a mother as your are.) 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.