The most frightening thing about tornados and hurricanes is the uncertainty of when one might hit, and how strong it will be. Tornados and hurricanes can level a town in a matter of minutes. While you cannot guarantee that your home will not be damaged in a tornado or hurricane, you can take a few steps to lessen the impact and provide safety for you and your family. Here is a list to help you prepare for either of these natural disasters:

Have storm shutters installed on all the windows of your home.

Have a roofing contractor make sure that your roof and gutters are attached firmly to your home and in good shape.

Secure lawn chairs, grills, children’s toys and other items in your yard.

Have a new garage door installed if your current one does not close tightly or is loose.

Ensure that your home is anchored to the ground if you live in a mobile or manufactured home.

Contact a tree trimming service to remove dead and loose branches from trees.

Have any dead or diseased trees completely removed.

Shut off all appliances before retreating to a safe room.

If there is a tornado threat, retreat to a secure area in the basement or to a room with no exterior walls.

Have the walls and ceiling joists reinforced in your safe room.

Keep water, canned food, batteries, flashlights, radio, first-aid kit, blankets and important documents together.