Preparing Your Home for High Winds

High-wind events like tornadoes can happen quickly with little warning, and the results can be devastating. However, there are steps you can take to reduce damage.

If you are currently under a tornado warning–seek shelter immediately. If you’re under a watch, visit www.ready.gov/tornadoes to learn how to stay safe. 

Narrowing the Path of Damage

This illustration shows part of the path of the 2013 tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma. IBHS engineers believe it is possible to virtually eliminate damage in EF-0 and EF-1 areas, and dramatically mitigate damage in EF-2 areas. How? By strengthening building codes and by implementing IBHS’s FORTIFIED Home™–High Wind program.

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Learn more about making your home stronger and more resilient against high winds at DisasterSafety.org/fortified.

Here are some additional steps you can take now to reduce damage from high winds.

  1. Inspect for and repair any damage to your roof. An already damaged roof can result in even more costly damage later.
  2. Have porches, carports, entryway canopies, storage sheds, and other structures attached to your home inspected to make sure they are firmly attached and in sound structural condition.
  3. Remove trees and branches that could fall on your home or become flying debris.
  4. When a tornado threatens: close all windows, exterior doors, and interior doors to (1) reduce the entry of rain and flying debris, and (2) reduce wind forces on the roof. Openings allow air pressure to build up inside a structure like a balloon. This puts internal pressure on the roof, and once the roof fails, the entire structure can fail within seconds.