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During a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds and high waves. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. In extreme storms, such as Hurricane Andrew, the force of the wind alone can cause weak places in your home to fail. After Hurricane Andrew, a team of experts examined homes that had failed and Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio ones that had survived.

They found four areas that should be checked for weakness, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio the roof, windows, doors, and if you have one, garage door. In this brochure, we discuss somethings you can do to help make your home stronger before the next hurricane strikes. You may need to make some improvements or install temporary wind protection. 

It is important that you do these projects now, before a hurricane threatens.While these projects, if done correctly, can make yourhome safer during a hurricane, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio they are no guaranteethat your home won't be damaged or even destroyed.If you are told by authorities to evacuate, do so immediately, even if you have taken these precautions. 

During a windstorm, the force of the wind pushes against the outside of your home. That force ispassed along from your roof to the exterior walls Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from thewind is not properly transferred to the ground.The first thing you should do is determine whattype of roof you have. 

Homes with gabled roofsare more likely to suffer damage during a hurricane. A gabled roof looks like an Aon the ends,with the outside wall going to the top of the roof(see Figure 1). The end wall of a home with agabled roof takes a beating during a hurricane, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio and those that are not properly braced can collapse, causing major damage to the roof. In most homes, gabled roofs are built usingmanufactured trusses. 

Sheets of roof sheathing,often plywood, are fastened to the trusses withnails or staples, and roofing material is fastened tothe sheathing. In many cases, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio the only thing holding the trusses in place is the plywood on top.This may not be enough to hold the roof in place during a hurricane. Installing additional truss bracing makes your roof's truss system much stronger. 

To inspect your roof's bracing, go into the attic.While working in your attic, you should wearclothing that covers your skin, work gloves, a hat,eye protection, and a dust mask. If your attic doesnot have a floor, be careful to walk only on thewood joists, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio or install boards wide enough to walkon as you work. Notice how the plywood isattached to the truss system. 

If most of the largenails or staples coming through the sheathing havemissed the trusses, consider having the sheathingproperly installed. In gabled roofs, truss bracing usually consists of 2 by 4s that run the length of the roof. If you do nothave truss bracing, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio it should be installed. You cando this yourself or hire a professional. 

Install 2 by 4s the length of your roof, overlapping the ends of the2 by 4s across two trusses (see Figure 2). Bracesshould be installed 18 inches from the ridge, in thecenter span, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio and at the base, with 8 to 10 feetbetween the braces. Use two 3-inch, 14-gaugewood screws or two 16d (16 penny) galvanizedcommon nails at each truss. 

Because space in atticsis generally limited, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio screws may be easier to install. Gable end bracing consists of 2 by 4s placed in an"X" pattern from the top center of the gable to thebottom center brace of the fourth truss, and fromthe bottom center of the gable to the top centerbrace of the fourth truss (see Figure 3). 

Use two3-inch, 14-gauge wood screws or two 16d galvanized common nails to attach the 2 by 4s to the gable Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio and to each of the four trusses. There are many types of roof design. Regardless ofyour type of roof, hurricane straps are designed tohelp hold your roof to the walls. While you are inthe attic, inspect for hurricane straps of galvanizedmetal (see Figure 4). 

Hurricane straps may be difficult for homeowners to install. You may need tocall a professional to retrofit your home with hurricane straps. Check with your local governmentbuilding officials to see if hurricane straps arerequired in your area. The exterior walls, doors, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio and windows are theprotective shell of your home. 

If your home's protective shell is broken, high winds can enter and put pressure on your roof and walls, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio causing damage. You can protect your home by strengthening the doors and windows.Double entry doors Most double doors have an active and an inactiveor fixed door (see Figure 5). Check to see how thefixed door is secured at the top and bottom. 

Thebolts or pins that secure most doors are not strongenough.Some door manufacturers provide reinforcingbolt kits made specifically for their doors. Checkwith your local building supplies retailer to findout what type of bolt system will work for yourdoor. The door bolt materials should cost from$10 to $40, Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio depending on the type and finish.

Doors with windows will need additional protection from flying debris. See the section on stormshutters for how to protect windows. Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can pose aproblem during hurricanes because they are solarge that they wobble as the high winds blow and Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio can pull out of their tracks or collapse from windpressure. 

If garage doors fail, high winds can enter your home through the garage and blow outdoors, windows, walls, and Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio even the roof. Certain parts of the country have building codes requiring garage doors to withstand high winds.

You should check with your local government building officials to see if there are code requirements for garage doors in your area. Some garage doors can be strengthened with retrofit kits. Check with your local building supplies retailer to Emergency Board Up_Chain Link Fence Security Optio see if a retrofit kit is available for your garage door.You can expect to pay from $70 to $150 to retrofityour garage door.

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