How safe is your home during a storm?

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The best place to ride out a storm is in your own home. But have you done enough to make sure it can hold up?

KHON2 spoke with a structural engineer who says those who live in single-wall homes as well as those with jalousie windows should take extra precautions.

Gary Chock points out that there are a lot of older, single wall homes on Oahu, and even tropical storm winds of 60-70 miles per hour can cause substantial damage.

“We have a lot of structures that haven’t been tested and if they get tested, a lot of them are gonna have pieces that fly off and be flying in the air,” said Chock.

He says those who live in single-wall homes should install hurricane clips. When winds get even stronger, say 90-100 miles per hour, he says a metal roof can fly at a speed of 35 miles per hour.

“How much force is behind that?” KHON2 asked.

“That can embed itself in your wall or even go through the wall depending on the type of construction you have,” said Chock.

Chock says that those who live on a ridge are more likely to get stronger wind gusts that can be destructive. 

He points out that even something that seems light and harmless like a lawn chair can cause damage, which is why it’s so important to tie down items in your yard or bring them inside.

“It can certainly go through your window and possibly puncture your wall or more likely it’s gonna fly out and smash a hole in your neighbor’s house,” he said.

He says windows are the most vulnerable part of the house, and those with jalousies are more likely to allow rain inside.

“Unless you board them up with plywood, the water’s going to flow through there and the panes of glass are very susceptible to being broken,” Chock said.

Broken windows not only allow flooding. It can also weaken the structure and cause the roof to fly off.

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