Wind Damage >> Major Storm Preparations

Once a hurricane or major storm hits, it's too late to protect your home and property. But there are things you can do now to limit future wind damage. Some are fairly simple and inexpensive; others will require a contractor. You'll need to consider the characteristics of your home, Major Storm Preparations your financial resources and the building codes in your community. 

This homeowner's checklist will help you learn what you can do. For more information about the costs and benefits of each approach, talk to a professional builder, Major Storm Preparations architect or contractor. You should also ask your building department about building permit requirements. 

Do you know your risk? Ask your emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for information about the hazards in your community. Do you have enough insurance? Even if you have taken steps to protect your home from flooding, Major Storm Preparations you still need flood insurance if you live in a floodplain. 

Homeowners' policies do not cover flood damage, Major Storm Preparations so you will probably need to purchase a separate policy under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It takes 30 days for a flood policy to take effect. This is why you need to purchase flood insurance before flooding occurs. If your insurance agent is unable to write a flood policy, call 1- 800-638-6620 for information. 

Is the roof sheathing properly installed? During a windstorm, wind forces are carried from the roof down to the exterior walls, Major Storm Preparations down to the foundation. Homes can be damaged when wind forces are not properly transferred to the ground. Roof sheathing (the boards or plywood nailed to the roof rafters or trusses) can fail during a hurricane if not properly installed. 

Examine the sheathing from the attic. If many of the nails have missed the rafters, Major Storm Preparations you may need to renail the sheathing. If you're putting on a new roof, make sure the sheathing complies with current recommended practices. Are end gables securely fastened to the rest of the roof? 

In a hurricane or other wind storm, the side walls of the roof (end gables) take a real beating and can collapse. Gable bracing often consists of 2"x4"s placed in an "X" pattern at both ends of the attic: from the top center of the end gable to the bottom of the brace of the fourth truss, Major Storm Preparations and from the bottom center of the end gable to the peak of the roof. 

Is the roof fastened to the walls with hurricane straps? Hurricane straps (made out of galvanized metal) help keep the roof fastened to the walls in high winds. They can be difficult to install, Major Storm Preparations so you may need a contractor for this project. Ask your building department whether hurricane straps are required or advisable in your area. 

Are double entry doors secured at the top and bottom? The exterior walls, doors and windows are the protective shell of your home. If the shell is broken during a storm, Major Storm Preparations high winds can enter the home and put pressure on the roof and walls, causing serious damage. 

For each double door, at least one of the doors should be secured at both the top of the door frame and the floor with sturdy sliding bolts. Most bolts that come with double doors, Major Storm Preparations however, are not strong enough to withstand high winds. Your local hardware can help you select the proper bolts. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing bolt kits made specifically for their doors. 

Has the garage door been properly secured? If the garage door fails, winds can enter your home and blow out doors, Major Storm Preparations windows, walls and the roof. Ask your building department for guidance on what to do. Are windows protected by storm shutters? Installing storm shutters is one of the most effective ways to protect your home. 

Purchase or make shutters for all exposed windows, glass surfaces, French doors, sliding glass doors and skylights. There are many types of Major Storm Preparations manufactured storm shutters available made out of wood, aluminum or steel. You can also make storm shutters with 5/8-inch thick exterior-grade plywood. 

If you're building or remodeling a home, there are many other ways to protect your property that are not addressed in this checklist. To learn more, Major Storm Preparations talk to a professional home builder, architect, contractor or building supply retailer. 

Before beginning new construction or repairs of property damaged during the recent spring severe weather, Major Storm Preparations residents are urged to consult with local building officials to obtain the necessary permits. 

"Obtaining building permits is especially important for those with homes or businesses located within a FEMA-mapped floodplain," said State Coordinating Officer Jonathon Monken, Major Storm Preparations the Illinois official in charge of disaster recovery. 

"Residents rebuilding after the recent severe weather need to know that building permits are based on local codes and ordinances that are enforced locally, not by FEMA." Permits assure residents and Major Storm Preparations communities that all proposed work complies with current codes, standards, flood ordinances and recommended construction techniques. 

Permits that include an elevation certificate can provide a permanent record of compliance with elevation, and/or retrofitting requirements, which is useful information for flood insurance ratings, and when selling your home. Often, Major Storm Preparations local permit offices can provide suggestions or literature on how to protect your home or business from future disaster-related damage. 

Floodplain development permits are required and repair projects must meet community building codes and Major Storm Preparations flood-damage prevention ordinances. Repairs begun without proper permits may be subject to stop-work orders, fines or penalties. 

It is not necessary to visit a DRC to register for disaster assistance. Individuals can register online at or via web-enabled phone at Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. People who use 711-Relay or Major Storm Preparations Video Relay Services (VRS) can call 800-621-3362. 

For more information visit the Major Storm Preparations Illinois Disaster website Multilingual phone operators are available on the FEMA helpline. Choose Option 2 for Spanish and Option 3 for other languages. 

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and Major Storm Preparations improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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