COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missourians who are repairing or rebuilding after recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding are facing many choices -- and opportunities -- regarding how they put the pieces of their homes and lives back together.
The U. S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials are hoping that some of those choices will include proven techniques that can help reduce or prevent future storm damage.
To minimize damage often caused by high winds, emergency management officials suggest the following:
- Anchor critical building components in three areas:
- Attach roof rafters to the walls with a metal connector -- most easily added when new roof sheathing and shingles are installed -- to help the structure resist wind uplift.
- Tie one floor to another with a continuous strap (nailed on the outside of the wall) or with a floor-tie anchor, nailed to the inside of the wall.
- Secure the structure to the foundation with connectors nailed to the studs and bolted into the concrete -- also to help the structure resist wind uplift.
- Fortify gable roofs by bracing the end wall of the gable to resist high winds.
- Take outside measures to minimize flying debris:
- Replace landscaping gravel and rock with shredded bark.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed.
- Cut weak branches and trees that could fall on your house or those around you.
- Reinforce glass windows and doors by:
- Installing impact-resistant laminated glass window or door systems.
- Applying high-strength window security films to standard window and patio door glass.
- Fortify garage doors by:
- Heavier hinges, stronger center supports and heavy gauge glider tracks securely anchored to the garage sidewalls.
- Installing permanent wood or metal stiffeners to an existing door.
- Replacing door with one that is designed to resist high winds.
Significant tools have been devised to help people understand and reduce or prevent future losses. Web users can go to www.fema.gov/rebuild and find an enormous amount of detailed information about ways to combat storms, tornadoes, and flooding. The Web site www.floodsmart.gov can even tell you the risk of flooding at your address -- and provide flood maps and names of the nearest agents offering flood insurance.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY call 1-800-462-7585; or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362.