How Can You Take Care of Your Property in the Midst of a Severe Windstorm?
During severe weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes, winds can reach speeds greater than 100 miles per hour. But even winds at 25 miles per hour can damage homes and property. Take a few simple steps to learn disaster preparedness and prepare your family and home for the possibility of severe winds.
Develop a severe weather emergency plan
Proper planning can help save your family from injury and inconvenience when severe weather strikes.
- Prepare your family for severe winds by creating a disaster preparedness plan, including a disaster survival kit and an emergency evacuation plan.
Stay informed on the potential for severe winds
Getting up-to-the-minute information is an important part of staying safe in any weather emergency.
- When severe weather threatens, tune in to a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-powered radio for updates.
- A high wind advisory means that sustained winds of over 25 miles per hour are predicted.
- Thunderstorm, tornado, and hurricane warnings should be taken very seriously, as they mean that severe weather has been spotted and is on its way.
Find shelter during severe weather
- When severe winds occur, move to the middle of your home or basement, away from windows and glass doors.
- Try to take cover under a staircase or a heavy piece of furniture.
- Do not stay in a manufactured home during severe winds. They are easily overturned by high winds, and flying debris can puncture their light frames and exteriors.
- If you live an area prone to severe winds, you may want to build a safe room in your home. A safe room is an area of your home that has been reinforced to provide protection from broken glass and flying debris.
- An experienced contractor can build a safe room with a reinforced roof, walls, and ceilings in a new or existing home.
Wherever you seek shelter, be sure to bring your family disaster kit with you.
Tips to help protect your property from severe weather
- Close window shutters or attach protective panels with previously installed fasteners.
- Garage or store vehicles you plan to leave behind.
- Develop a plan and a checklist to protect your boat in case of storms or hurricanes.
- Determine the safest place for your boat to ride out a storm ahead of time so it’s easy to take action.
- Remove all externally-mounted electronics that might be damaged by a storm.
- If your boat must remain in the water, avoid low dock pilings and narrow boat slips; both increase the potential for damage.
- Check with your marina about any guidelines or contractual requirements to safeguard your boat in the event of heavy weather.
- Place garbage cans, patio furniture, grills and other potentially wind-borne objects inside your home or garage.
- In a high-wind event, move your family to a community storm shelter or other secure structure to protect them from harm.
- Even when equipped with new straps and tie-downs, manufactured homes may expose occupants to a greater risk of injury than structures with permanent foundations.
Monitor the radio for weather updates. If you are instructed to evacuate, go to a shelter as directed by local authorities and:
- Lock doors and windows before you go.
- Bring your survival kit and other supplies. For a helpful list of what your kit should include, visit the home and family section of the American Red Cross.
- Let friends and relatives know where you plan to be.
- If there is no time to get to a shelter, retreat to your safe room if you have one. Otherwise, stay in the middle of your home or basement, away from windows, and try to take cover under a staircase or a heavy piece of furniture.
More wind wisdom
High winds can cause damage nearly anywhere. So no matter where you live, please take the enclosed guidelines to heart.
And don’t stop there. For more detailed information about keeping your home and family safe in the event of a high-wind event, consult the following resources:
- Institute for Business and Home Safety
- Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
- American Red Cross
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
If you're a State Farm® policyholder and have experienced a catastrophe, contact your State Farm agent first. If you can't reach your agent's office, call our customer representatives 24/7 at 800-SF-CLAIM (800-732-5246).
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.