The inevitable happened and your home, farm or ranch was hit by high winds, hail, or maybe even a tornado.  While severe weather can seem unavoidable, you can take a few precautions to help safeguard your home from the threat of impending storms.  Whether you are in the process of rebuilding after a weather event, or just want to build the home of your dreams, you have the opportunity to rebuild a stronger, more efficient home. Read on for tips to get started.

Building Fortified Housing

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Fortified™ home program is a set of construction standards developed to help homeowners better protect their dwelling from high wind, hail, tornado, and severe thunderstorms. IBHS has gathered research from over 20 years of storm damage investigations in order to provide guidelines on how best to build a more storm resistant home. Their construction standards are broken into three designation levels: bronze, silver or gold. The bronze level address the roof system to reduce the amount of wind and water that can enter the attic. The silver level upgrades the roof and also windows, doors and other attached structures.  Gold addresses everything that the bronze and silver level do, while also connecting the roof to walls to foundation so everything works together as a unit.

Rebuilding a Home to Withstand Storms

When thinking about rebuilding to protect against future damages caused by storms, you will want to start by reinforcing the roof.  Keeping the roof on your home will help provide greater stability in the event of high winds.  One way to do that is to use galvanized-steel hurricane clips.

Once you address the roof, you can also protect your home by fortifying your garage door. The Executive Director of the National Storm Shelter Association has indicated that garage doors can be the weakest link during a storm.  Consider installing a bracing system to provide extra stability.  The system is permanent, but the braces themselves can be stored in the garage and put up in less than three minutes if a tornado warning goes into effect.

At the very least, consider installing an underground or an in-home safe room to protect your family with a shelter of some kind. This will ensure your family has a safe place to go when a storm comes rolling in.

Innovations in Efficient and Weather Resistant Housing

If maximizing space and minimizing waste is of interest to you, consider using a home builder who utilizes the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Certification Standards paired with the IBHS Fortified™ Home Standards when designing a new construction home.  Homes that follow both sets of standards are capable of using less electricity, harvesting and recycling rain water, and providing safety from a storm.

Consider building an earth-sheltered home if you really want to go all-in on the most eco-friendly type of construction. These types of homes use the Earth as a natural protector from extreme weather and temperatures. The unique aspects this type of construction offers are energy-efficiency, low noise levels and low maintenance.  Whether you are looking for all but one exterior wall covered with dirt or three walls covered with earth with the roof and one exterior wall open, his type of home allows for greater protection from storms, low maintenance, greater yard space and more living space for wildlife. 

No matter when a storm strikes, Farm Bureau agents are here to help you get back to normal. Reach out to an agent to learn more about how we can help protect your home, your property, and more.

Resources:
https://disastersafety.org/fortified/fortified-home/ http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2017/03/23/445450.htm https://www.niftyhomestead.com/blog/earth-sheltered-homes/
http://www.alvarezhomes.com/first-eco-friendly-house-in-historic-hyde-park/
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/interior-projects/how-to/g605/8-ways-to-protect-your-home-against-tornadoes-and-hurricanes/