Mother Nature is a curious one. On summer morning she greets us with a vibrant smile; radiant rays of sunshine gleaming down on our business. In winter she dances with us one snowflake after another. But when she is angry there is no wrath quite like hers. Much like your momma or mine she rarely tries to hide when mad or disappointed. Instead she attacks with a force not to be reckoned with. She lets nothing stand in her path and she unloads quickly without thought to her children who – on most days – delight in her variety. The fact remains when a dust storm (or Haboob) rises up some 1,000 feet high traveling into town from Lubbock way or a cold system clashes with a warm front just off to the west assuring a severe storm or a possible twister there is little that can be done. No amount of protective services or warning signals will help to keep Mother Nature at bay. But no one is safe. Every house is susceptible; tiny or not! So what steps can you take to keep your tiny house safe?
Today’s tips can be broken down into three different groups: Home Improvements, Emergency Preparedness, and Action!
- Secure any items that may be outside your home. This includes lawn furniture, lawn ornaments, mailboxes, garden gnomes, and the like. Flying debris can be a major hazard in high winds. Securing means to tie it down or bring it in!
- Review your insurance policy. Make sure you are covered for disasters that your area is prone to. Don’t have insurance? Check with a local agent to see how tiny houses may gain insurance in that municipality.
- Make sure your tiny house trailer is properly anchored down.
- Tiny house anchoring should meet mobile home manufacturing specifications.
- If you aren’t sure of things have a certified technician inspect your home and anchoring system.
- Make sure you are up to code. Without being up to code you can’t receive a certificate of occupancy nor will your insurance typically cover you. You are assuming all risk when not up to snuff.
- Consider skirting. What is skirting you ask? Skirting is material that enclose the bottom of the tiny house but yet still allows some air to pass through. If you don’t have a skirting enclosure wind can get under your house, peel off siding, lift the flooring, etc
- Add a disaster preparedness kit (or 72-hour kit or BOB) and a weather radio to your home. At any time of day a NOAA weather radio alerts you to impending events.
- Make an escape plan. (to exit your tiny house)
- Make an evacuation plan. (to leave town)
- Consider a storm cellar or shelter. If there is one in town make sure each member of your family knows where it is.
- Get to know your neighbors. You may need them or they may need you during emergency. With a friendship in place communication and response will be significantly easier.
- Stay tuned in to local TV and radio broadcasts for watch, warning, and update information.
- Watch for changing weather conditions.
- If a tornado approaches find shelter.
- If told to evacuate, do so.
- Close your windows and even your shutters if you have them.
- Stay calm and level-headed.