Securing your tiny house so you can tow it is one thing, but what if you live in an area that experiences hurricanes, tornadoes, and other dangerous types of weather? If you do live in such an area, it's important that you know how to prepare your tiny house for extreme weather conditions.
There are many different approaches you can take to securing your tiny house, depending of course on what kind of weather you're dealing with and whether or not you've already built your tiny house. This guide will focus on securing your tiny house during strong winds.
If you're yet to build your tiny house, you can make design decisions that will make your tiny house much more secure and able to withstand strong winds. But if you've already built or started building your tiny house, don't worry; there's plenty you can do too!
How to Prepare Your Tiny House for Severe Weather Conditions
Follow the guidelines for mobile homes
There are many more RVs and camper vans out there than tiny houses, so it makes sense that there's more information available for mobile home owners. To find out how to prepare your tiny house for severe weather conditions, simply look for information on how to secure mobile homes.
Follow the guidelines provided by your state or country
Of course, every part of the world is different and so how much and how to prepare your tiny house for severe weather conditions will depend on what kind of serious weather conditions we're talking about. Find out what your local authorities recommend and require before doing much else.
Don't park near a tree
If you're likely to experience strong winds, avoid parking near a tree, as it could fall and crush your tiny house.
I recently had a lucky escape…
The best way to reduce the impact of any damage resulting from severe weather conditions is by taking out insurance.
Tiny house insurance options are limited, but as tiny houses become main stream, there are now insurance options in all 50 states of the US. To learn more about insurance for your tiny home, listen to my interview with Martin Burlingame from My Strategic Insurance:
Build your tiny house from a shipping container
If the traditional tiny house aesthetic is your thing, this option won't be for you, but shipping containers can withstand a lot, so turning one into your home could be a safer option than building a house from wood.
Design your tiny house to be aerodynamic
If you want to go this far, you could completely rethink the shape of your tiny house, and design it to be aerodynamic. You'd probably need to work with an architect though, so this wouldn't be a cheap option.
Secure your tiny house to the ground by building all or part of it underground. You could build a house into the earth, move into or build a bomb or survival shelter, or just build a basement. Another advantage to doing this is reducing your heating bill!
Use hurricane ties
Use hurricane ties or clips to secure the rafters of your tiny house to the framing, and make your tiny house stronger overall.
Photo courtesy of Huge Hopes, Tiny House
Anchor your tiny house
Use an anchor system to stop strong winds from picking up your tiny house. This will involve screwing anchors into the earth or whatever foundation your tiny house is positioned on, or using an anchor point like a tree, and attaching that to your tiny house using straps called tie-downs and adjustable bolts or D shackles.
Don't forget about your porch and outbuildings
It's no good building a super secure tiny house that can withstand even the strongest winds if your storage room, porch, or outdoor toilet (like my Cub) isn't built to the same standards. In strong winds, your outbuildings could be picked up and thrown against your tiny house, undoing all your hard work.
Use removable add-ons
If you plan to use “add-ons” for your tiny house, like solar panels, make them removable, so you can bring them inside or move them to a safer location should you need to. Likewise, keep them on the ground instead of on the roof of your tiny house, so you can cover them up.
Install hurricane shutters
Hurricane shutters can protect your tiny house windows from flying objects during any storms.
Of course, broken glass is enough of an issue in itself, but broken windows can increase the chance of your roof falling in too. Fierce winds blowing over the top of your tiny house create negative pressure, which may cause your roof to fail. Broken windows can worsen the problem, by enabling the air pressure to rise inside the house and create an even bigger pressure difference.
Park next to a bigger building to reduce the impact
If you can, park your tiny house next to a bigger and more robust building to shield it from strong winds and flying debris. You can also try and use tarpaulin to create wind breaks to protect your tiny house even more.
Seal any holes
Check your tiny house for holes, whether they're left over from nails or screws or they were created by cracks. Seal up any holes you find with caulk or sealant, to prevent the hole from getting bigger or letting any water in.
Move your tiny house
If you get enough warning, simply pack up your belongings and move to another site until the bad weather passes. Mobility is one of the huge advantages of living in a tiny house, so make the most of it!
Leave your tiny house
If all else fails, it's far better to protect yourself than your tiny house. If there's a tornado coming and there's not much you can do, leave your tiny house and head to safer ground. Your tiny house is replaceable; you are not.
On that note, consider finding somewhere safe to go ahead of time, or putting together an emergency kit of essentials, should you find yourself trapped.
Now You Know How to Prepare Your Tiny House for Severe Weather Conditions
Of course, how you prepare your tiny house is going to depend on which kinds of weather you're likely to face. This guide has focused on how to prepare your tiny house for severe weather conditions involving strong winds, like hurricanes.
If it's cold weather you need to prepare your tiny house for, read Fall at the Tiny House: How to prepare your tiny house for winter and How I’m Preparing My Tiny House For Winter.
For more ideas on how to prepare your tiny house for severe weather conditions, have a look at these tiny houses that are equipped to do just that.
I hope this article has given you plenty of ideas about how you might secure your home. If you have any other suggestions, please share them in the comments below, so others can benefit from them too.