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PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY FROM HIGH WINDS
FEMA
April 2011

If the area immediately surrounding your home contains trees, outbuildings,
trash cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind,
your house will be more likely to be damaged during a hurricane or tornado.
The wind can topple trees onto your house and can pick up smaller objects and
drive them through windows and glass doors. 
You should ensure that all trees on your property are far enough away to
prevent them from damaging your home if they should fall. The distance
between the structure and any nearby tree should always be greater than the
height the tree will reach when it is fully grown. All storage sheds and
other outbuildings should be securely anchored, either to a permanent
foundation or with straps and ground anchors. Smaller objects, such as trash
cans, barbecue grills, and outdoor furniture should also be anchored or, if
you have adequate warning, moved indoors. You should also clear away any
debris, such as fallen tree branches.

BENEFITS OF UTILIZING THIS MITIGATION STRATEGY

* Helps to prevent damage to a structure and its contents
* Helps to prevent injuries to occupants 
TIPS
Keep these points in mind when you remove trees and potential windborne
missiles:
* Remove large trees near your property. They can be extremely dangerous for
both you and your home. Therefore, this is a job for a skilled contractor.
* Use the straps and ground anchors also used for manufactured homes to
anchor outbuildings, especially small garden sheds that are usually not
placed on a permanent foundation.
* Secure outdoor furniture and barbecue grills by bolting them to decks or
patios or by attaching them to ground anchors with cables or chains.
* Secure trash cans with cables or chains attached to ground anchors or wood
posts firmly embedded in the ground. Trash can lids should be attached to
cans with cables or chains.
* Contact your local agricultural extension office to get suggestions on
which varieties of trees will be less susceptible to storm damage.
* Contact an arborist for assistance with pruning existing trees properly.
Improperly pruning trees or damaging root systems can make them more
susceptible to storm damage.

ESTIMATED COST

If you hire a contractor to remove a large tree, you can expect to pay about
$1,000 to $1,500. Having a contractor anchor a storage shed with straps and
ground anchors will cost about $100 to $200.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture,
Cooperative Extension System Offices, http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

FEMA 247, Against the Wind: Protecting Your Home from Hurricane Wind Damage,
December 1993, http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1641.

FEMA 549, Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast: Mitigation Assessment Team
Report, Building Performance Observations, Recommendations, and Technical
Guidance, Chapter 11, “Recommendations,” July 2006,
http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1857. 

To view and download FEMA publications visit the FEMA Library at
http://www.fema.gov/library. To obtain FEMA publications please call 1-800-
480-2520 or fax 1-240-699-0525 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST. You
may also email your request to FEMA-Publications-Warehouse@dhs.gov. Please
provide the title, item number, short number, and quantity of each
publication, along with your name, address, zip code, and daytime telephone
number.



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