These ideas are applicable in tornado, hurricane and storm surge prone areas too!
The approach of Cyclone Yasi, a Category Five, has made me think about what might be done better in preparation for such events.
In cyclone prone areas, home bathrooms & toilets at least should need strengthened ceilings (say tech-screwed planks above their ceilings secured to solid walls with steel bands) as well a storm shutters on those windows and a land line phone socket in there. Valves or shut-off cocks on drains & toilets would help too (though sandbags on & in these could do the job) to prevent flood backing up the sewers. People might not have time or money to fortify their whole home but a day or two should be enough to buttress the most defendable room.
The government might also mail out stickers personalized for each home in a coastal or riverine area that states the surge level in meters that might subject that home to
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