10 Expert-Approved Strategies for Homestead Protection Against Storms

Here on our homestead in Texas, we experience everything from high winds to flooding to hail. So, keeping safe during storms is a high priority. We turned to a pro for some tips.

Texas hail
Hail from a recent Texas storm. Photo by DIY Homesteading 101, Alina Bradford

Expert Eric Bramlett says,As a lifelong Texan, I’ve experienced firsthand the destructive power of severe storms that impact our state each season. Assisting homeowners after nasty weather was heartbreaking in the past – flooded homes, destroyed roofs, blown out windows, trees fallen on houses. The costs and repairs piled on extra stress for families dealing with messy claims. However, small but strategic upgrades can make a big difference.

 While we can’t control Mother Nature, we can control how ready we are. Doing small things like an inspection and some preventative projects helps ensure everyone can face severe weather seasons with greater peace of mind.”

Here are his top 10 tips on how to stormproof your home:

  1. Choose the right windows: Impact-resistant windows with reinforced frames are a must for hurricane-prone areas. They’ll stand up better to high winds and flying debris. 
  2. Professional installation is key: Make sure you hire a licensed contractor to install any new windows. They’ll ensure the frames are securely anchored, properly flashed, and sealed.
  3. Brace those garage doors: No one wants a busted garage door after a storm. Install temporary diagonal bracing to add strength. It’s a simple precaution that could save you big bucks.
  4. Hurricane panels are a must: If you live where hurricanes are a risk, pre-cut plywood panels or corrugated metal shutters are invaluable. Boarding up openings protects your home from wind and debris damage.
  5. Use an anchoring system for lightweight structures: Metal garages or sheds can become dangerous projectiles in storms. Secure them firmly to the ground with ground anchors and strong cables or metal straps to keep them where they belong instead of becoming flying missiles.
  6. Keep up with regular maintenance: Inspect your garage door tracks, hinges, springs, and rollers at least twice a year, tighten any loose bolts, and lubricate moving parts.
  7. Reinforce that roof: Proper hurricane straps or clips can stabilize the entire roof deck if fastened correctly across the rafters. 
  8. Go with impact-resistant doors and windows: They may cost more upfront, but will likely save you far more in repairs. 
  9. Seal those gaps: Caulk and foam around windows, doors, siding, foundations – anywhere you notice cold air leaks. This creates an extra barrier to keep water out rather than letting it seep inside wall cavities over time. 
  10. Get pruning: Remove any overhanging, loose, or dead branches that could cause damage during windy weather.