PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

The Top Five Do-it-Now

Natural Disasters

[IMAGE: Plan to save your home and family from the next natural disaster.]New Construction

1. Make your structure solid enough to withstand any natural disaster. Using pre-cast concrete wall and foundations or steel foundations help homes hold firm against powerful winds better than wood.

2. Tie down your walls and roofs to your foundation using manufactured housing ground anchor systems. Making one solid structure will make it hard for any hurricane or tornado to move your home.

3. Choosing moderately pitched hipped roofs will provide more storm resistance than gable roofs. Properly install a roof with high wind- and impact-resistant asphalt roofing shingles to help keep it in place.

4. Keep all openings in the building's envelope wind-resistant by reinforcing garage doors and single car openings, installing impact-resistant doors and using hurricane shutters or impact resistant glass.

5. Use non-moisture absorbent insulation, such as sprayed-foam insulation to ease drying woes from flooding and hurricanes.

*The most important part of disaster resistance is to design it into your home from the beginning. Here are some more helpful resources to get you started.


1. Have a professional design and build a prefabricated storm shelter connected or near your home. These type of shelters increase safety against F5 tornados and debris from storms.

2. After the storm, inspect and replace any damaged shingles. Consider reinforcing the connection between the sheathing to the rafters or trusses.

3. If flooding occurred, all carpeting (including water resistant) and padding holds or traps water and should be removed, dried and cleaned as part of the flood recovery process.

4. Install the domestic water piping by installing a home run plumbing system with flexible piping in walls, ceilings, concrete slabs and underground. The pipe's flexibility makes it easy to snake through wall studs and floor joists, and increases earthquake resistance.

5. When remodeling, look for ways to improve insulation levels and consider other energy efficiency upgrades.

Need more information remodeling or repairing your home? Read PATH's 5 Tech Briefs.

Content updated on 5/21/2007

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