How A Tornado May Damage Your Home

How A Tornado May Damage Your Home

In the wake of a tornado, the devastation left in its path can be profound. Unfortunately, this often includes homes. If you have been affected by a tornado, or are expecting to be hit by one, understanding the potential damage that it can inflict upon your home is crucial for preparation and safety. Here, we explore the various types of building damage you should anticipate and ways to identify the safest locations within your home.

Structural Damage

Tornadoes are notorious for causing extensive structural damage to buildings. High winds can rip off roofs, collapse walls, and shatter windows, leaving homes vulnerable to the elements. It’s essential to inspect your home for signs of structural weakness, such as cracked foundations, loose shingles, or leaning walls, and address any issues promptly to minimize the risk of further damage during a tornado event.

Debris Impact

Flying debris propelled by tornado-force winds can cause significant damage to homes and pose a serious threat to occupants. Common projectiles include tree branches, roofing materials, bricks, and even larger objects carried by the storm’s powerful winds. Securing outdoor furniture, trimming trees, and reinforcing windows and doors can help reduce the risk of debris penetration and protect your home and loved ones from the risk of flying objects.


In addition to wind damage, tornadoes can also lead to flooding, particularly in low-lying areas or regions prone to heavy rainfall. Severe storms accompanying tornadoes may overwhelm drainage systems, causing water to accumulate rapidly and inundate homes. Ensuring that your home is equipped with proper drainage, sump pumps, and flood barriers can help mitigate the risk of flood-related damage during a tornado event.

Safe Zones

Identifying the safest locations within your home to seek shelter during a tornado is critical for survival. Basements or storm shelters located below ground level offer the most protection from flying debris and high winds. If a basement is not available, seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest level of your home, away from windows and exterior walls. Avoid areas with large spans of roof or unsupported ceilings, as these may collapse under the force of the tornado.

Emergency Kit

In addition to fortifying your home and identifying safe shelter locations, assembling an emergency preparedness kit is essential for weathering the impact of a tornado. Your kit should include essential supplies to sustain you and your family in the event of power outages, limited access to resources, or displacement from your home. Some items to include in your emergency kit are:

  • Water: Store at least one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Non-perishable food: Stock up on canned goods, dry goods, and other non-perishable food items that require little to no preparation.
  • First aid kit: Include basic medical supplies such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any prescription medications needed by members of your household.
  • Flashlights and batteries: Ensure you have multiple flashlights with extra batteries to provide illumination during power outages.

While the destructive power of a tornado is undeniable, taking proactive measures to prepare for and mitigate potential damage can help safeguard your home and family. By understanding the types of damage tornadoes can cause, fortifying your home against wind and debris, and identifying safe locations for shelter, you can increase your chances of weathering the storm and emerging unscathed. Stay vigilant, stay prepared, and stay safe.

Written by Jack Vale in partnership with wall corner guard protectors from CAP Corner Guards.

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