According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), May is National Building Safety Month. It's especially timely as many in the Midwest and southern Plains face the task of rebuilding homes and property damaged by tornadoes and severe storms. For property owners in hurricane-prone areas, having a building that can withstand strong winds is critical.

Engineers and architects who design high-rise buildings factor in the wind load, which can give you the sensation that the building is swaying in a high wind, especially if you're on the upper floors. Some high-rises stagger elevator banks to account for wind sway as well. Although you may not be putting up a high rise, you should take wind load into account too.

The International Building Code Council and Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. offer these five steps to help ensure that your home won't be blown away.

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Rosalie Donlon

Rosalie Donlon is the editor in chief of ALM's insurance and tax publications, including NU Property & Casualty magazine and NU You can contact her at [email protected].