In order to protect your home and family, make sure your home is properly braced. Often builders simply "toenail" rafters into the top plate of the house's top wall. This means a long nail is hammered at a side angle through the rafter and into the top plate. In a heavy storm, wind can circulate under the roof's overhang, crack the rafter, rip out the toenails, and blow the roof right off. And if the roof is torn off, the rest of the house is vulnerable to severe damage.
Insist that your builder secure your roof with rafter clips. Also known as tornado clips or hurricane clips, rafter clips should be mounted to the top plate of the exterior wall and into each rafter. With rafter clips in place, wind would have to shear through the nails that attach the clips before it could rip off the roof.
In addition to rafter clips, every exterior corner of your home should be reinforced with 4'x8' sheets of Oriented Strand Board--OSB. Each sheet of OSB is nailed to the top and bottom plate of the wall, as well as to the entire length of the wall studs. This extra reinforcement at the corners will prevent the top plate of the exterior wall from blowing off if the roof should be lost.
Also pay special attention to the way the walls of your home are attached to the foundation. Many builders simply nail the bottom of the wall into the concrete foundation. But to better secure the walls to the foundation, L-shaped bolts should be inserted into the concrete foundation immediately after it has been poured. Once the foundation has cured, the L-shaped bolts are permanently imbedded. When the walls are framed, holes are drilled so the wall can be set down over the bolts then attached with a washer and nut to secure the wall.
Rafter clips, reinforced exterior corners, and L-shaped foundation bolts are three must-haves that will help your home stand strong in the face of dangerous storms, protecting your family and your belongings.