New Orleans after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Photo: Betsy Andrews
New Orleans after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
As another storm season gets under way, it's not just Florida and the Gulf States that need to be worried. The whole Eastern Seaboard, from Miami to Boston, is vulnerable. And those aren't the only weather systems we need to watch out for, either. Just ask folks in the stretch of the country's midsection known as Tornado Alley, or the victims of hailstorms in Colorado.

The good news is that with a few tools, a weekend or two, and a little know-how, homeowners can take meaningful steps today to improve their home's odds of surviving severe weather, whether it's a hurricane in Florida or a twister in Texas. To help you get started, we canvassed engineers, contractors, architects, emergency managers, and, of course, our own experts, and compiled their best nuts-and-bolts advice. The bottom line: You don't have to spend a bundle for protection. Nor do you have to live in a bunker—though if you're tempted, we've got just the thing for you. Even a handful of nails or a few tubes of strategically applied construction glue can dramatically increase your house's odds of staying put in a storm.

The fact is, your home is your single greatest investment, and when it comes to protecting it from ferocious weather, you simply can't afford to wing it. There's a storm in your future, and your game plan for fighting it starts right here.

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