Fortifying Windows Against Storms and Looters

  1. GPS1504
    As we inch towards spring and warmer weather, we are inching towards other things that we might not enjoy quite as much. Beginning around spring and extending on through summer is a pretty big storm season for much of the United States. Tornado season begins around April and hurricane season starts in June.

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    In recent years, tornadoes have done major damage and cost many people their lives. Although science has come a long way and predictions as to the likelihood of tornado strikes can be made, there is no way to know 100% if you are or are not in danger. If you live in an area plagued by tornadoes, chances are there is a healthy amount of fear in the air during peak tornado times. Places such as Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma come to mind as tornado stomping grounds in recent years.

    Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are two noteworthy storms that made landfall in the past decade. Both of them did tremendous amounts of property damage and took many lives. The prediction of a hurricane making landfall is constantly getting better, but nothing is ever certain until right before or as it is happening. Should you watch a hurricane track for a week, you will probably see the estimated point of landfall move multiple times. Up until a few days before, even hurricanes keep us guessing.

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    What does not keep us guessing, however, is the ability of people to be low down and dirty in times of disaster. When a hurricane or tornado strikes, the next threat to appear is looters. Even though it is a terrible thing to do, people show up to try to scavenge through the ruins of the lives of others to see what they can steal. In a time where storms render homes much more accessible than they are under normal circumstances, the opportunity to steal what is left of your belongings is too tempting for some to resist.

    Ideally you will be able to take precautions to preserve the condition of your home when a disaster is coming. However, disasters are capable of doing a lot more damage than a little bit of preparedness can fix. With that in mind, you have to face the reality that a lot of the home securing necessary before a storm is probably to defend your property from other people. A disaster may only clip your area, leaving most homes intact, but if power is lost and residents have vacated, a looters' paradise has been created.

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    To protect your home in the event of a disaster, keep in mind that the most vulnerable areas are the windows. Since an alarm or security system cannot be relied upon when the power goes out, breaking a window is an easy way for a crook to gain access to your home. Thus, you will need a backup plan for when this happens. Plywood can be used to cover windows and prevent entry, but be sure to attach it with power tools instead of plywood clips. Those clips may be convenient for you to add and remove plywood, and that will be just as easy for someone else. Metal bars are great for year round protection but can be unsightly and dangerous if you need to get out through a window in the event of a fire. Storm shutters that roll up and down are convenient and can be used as needed at the touch of a button but they can be stopped in their tracks by a power outage unless there is a manual component. Security film over windows sounds like a nice idea but will only slow entry down as opposed to truly standing in the way of someone trying to break into your home.

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    Disaster is a word with many meanings. In some cases, it means approaching storms and the destruction they bring along with them. In other cases, it could mean coming home to a dwelling that was broken into and ransacked. Minimize the disaster types you may face by protecting yourself and your home and preventing looters' access to easily broken glass.

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