The Oklahoma Association of Realtors offers these tips for preparing your home for tornado season.
•Have a good roof over your head.
High winds, heavy rains and hail can create a “perfect storm” for your roof. Make sure your roof is in good repair and there are no loose shingles to minimize potential water leaks. Roofs should be replaced about every 20 years, so if you’re in the market for a new roof, consider an impact-resistant option.
•Build a shelter.
Building a storm shelter can not only help protect your family during a tornado, but it can also be a good investment for your home. In many cases, homeowners who have storm shelters professionally installed can see up to two-thirds return on that investment. Also, be sure to check for available rebates on installation.
•Brush up your landscaping.
Flying debris caused by falling tree branches and other vegetation can damage roofs, break through windows and even injure people. Throughout the spring months, make sure to cut back hedges and trim any heavy tree limbs that have potential to break under pressure.
•Keep it all tied down.
If possible, bring outdoor furniture inside or anchor it with ties to your home. This will not only minimize flying debris, but it will help protect your outdoor belongings from blowing away or sustaining heavy damage. If you have operating shutters, close and secure them in order to safeguard the shutters and your windows.
•Have a game plan.
No matter how many precautions homeowners take, damage to your home is possible. Make sure you have a plan in place for a safe, central location in your home where your family will meet in the event of severe weather and have a radio, first aid kit, cell phone charger, crucial medications and any other emergency items you may need on hand.