If you live in an area prone to high winds and storms, then taking steps to protect your home is vital for both your home and your safety. The following are a few changes you can make that will help ensure that your home survives the next storm with minimal to no damage.
Install a lightening protection system (LPS)
An LPS system will help keep your home and its contents safe in the event of a lightening strike. This integrated system makes use of lightening rods and grounding devices to route the electricity away from your home if a strike occurs. Then, whole house surge protectors are installed, which prevent electronics and appliances from blowing out. This not only saves your expensive items, but can protect you as a surge can also cause an appliance fire. You should also make sure ground devices are installed on gas lines in the home. Otherwise, a lightening strike can travel down an ungrounded line, causing it to rupture and leak gas.
Upgrade your windows and doors
Windows, and to a lesser extent doors, can be one of the most dangerous items in your home in the event of high winds or hail. Upgrading these items can go a long way toward making your home safer. Begin by installing impact resistant doors and windows. These are often sufficient in areas where wind storms and hail are the most common issues. If you live in a hurricane or tornado prone area, though, you may need to take further steps. In this case, install storm or hurricane shutters. These shutters are only pulled down in the event of a storm — they do not block window access otherwise. They will effectively make your home impermeable to anything the wind throws your way.
Be prepared for flooding
Often, storm-prone areas are also prone to flooding. This is especially true if you have a basement or crawlspace, particularly in low-lying areas. Having an automatic sump pump system installed, which operates on its own generator in the event of a power outage, can keep your home dry and prevent extensive damage from occurring. Depending on the area, you may also need to consider the addition of outside waterproofing measures, such as underground drains and foundation sealing. In low-lying areas, you may also want to invest in flood gates for every door. These are deployed during high risk times to prevent water from seeping underneath a threshold.