Just caught the end of a "This Old House" segment on how to seismically reinforce your home to stay anchored to it's foundation. They use some serious metal to accomplish it so I think it must cost a few grand but so does replacing your house.
Check out the "This Old House" site
Home Improvement and Remodeling: This Old House
It's a large site and I've searched "seismic" and "tornado" without finding the segment. it's there if you're willing to take the time.
Meanwhile there are lots of good tips there.
10 Uses for Baking Soda
Everyone knows this kitchen staple fights odors in the fridge. What we didn't know is just how darn useful it is everywhere else in the house
1. Remove tape residue
Make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Rub the paste onto bits of tape stuck to windows, then wipe clean.
2. Douse flames
Keep a box of baking soda in your workshop or kitchen to sprinkle on a fire if one breaks out.
3. Zap roaches
Set out a shallow dish or bowl containing equal parts sugar and baking soda. Roaches are attracted to the sugar, but the mixture is deadly to them.
4. Spot-clean a rug
Sprinkle baking soda on greasy spots and let sit for about an hour. Scrub gently with a damp sponge or brush, then vacuum to remove any leftover grime.
5. Absorb moisture
Keep an open box of baking soda in your tool cabinet to fend off moisture that could rust saws or other equipment.
6. Keep drains clear
Once a week, pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar down your kitchen sink. It?ll help keep your pipes clog-free.
7. Clean a shower door
Pour some baking soda on a damp sponge, wipe the door, and rinse with warm water.
8. Uncrust your grill
Sprinkle baking soda directly on an indoor or outdoor grill. Let sit overnight, then slough off the grime with a wire brush and warm water.
9. Scrub your paws
Rubbing your hands with warm water and a palmful of baking soda will remove stubborn odors.
10. Banish book odors
Seal musty-smelling books for a few weeks in a plastic bag with baking soda sprinkled inside to eliminate mildew and odors.
10 Uses for Magnets
In the 6th century B.C., Thales of Miletus, a Greek wise man, reasoned that a magnet's power of attraction was the result of science, not magic. After that, it was only a matter of time (okay, a few millennia) before magnets turned up in TVs, turbines, computer hard drives, and on the fronts of fridges everywhere. Their stick-to-itiveness?in the form of iron horseshoes, shiny rare-earth bars, or vinyl-coated magnetic sheets?is also helpful for a host of household projects.
Use magnets to:
1. Locate metal studs in a wall.
2. Seal off air-conditioning vents to improve home heating by placing vinyl-coated sheets over the steel register faces.
3. Hang Polaroids of projects-in-process on the lip of a metal shelf above the workbench.
4. Collect nails from a porch repair job that have fallen in the grass.
5. Prevent corrosion inside your water heater; a magnet placed on the freshwater intake pipe catches damaging metallic calcium particles before they can get inside.
6. Pin blueprints onto the side or hood of the truck.
7. Create a bulletin board without the use of tacks, tape, or hooks on walls coated with "magnetized" paint containing metals.
8. Protect a tractor's engine: Ceramic magnets placed in the oil pan will attract steel bits that get into the oil from grinding pistons.
9. Fasten steel framing squares to the outside of toolboxes for quick access by gluing magnets to the box sides.
10. Clean up metal shavings that have fallen from the bench grinder onto the workshop floor
10 Uses for Old Blue Jeans
More than 130 years ago, tailor Jacob Davis convinced a Gold Rush merchant named Levi Strauss to help him sell work pants reinforced with copper rivets. Now, jeans cost as much as a used car. So it pays to recycle ?em?like we do.
1. Make a nail pouch. Cut away the pant seat but leave it attached to the waistband. Hold the seat to your waist and fasten the waistband in the back. Fill pockets with nails.
2. Hold Your Pencils. Cut out one back pocket and nail or glue it to the side of your shop cabinet as a pencil holder.
3. Repair a Rust Spot. Got a hole in the floor of your old beater? Buy a quart of liquid fiberglass, dip a swatch of denim in it, then smooth it over the hole. Once it cures, the fabric will become a rigid patch.
4. Bolster insulation. To close small gaps around framing, soak cut-up jeans in a mixture of borax and water. It will dry into fire-retardant, mildew-resistant, insect-repelling insulation.
5. Make a shop weight. Cut off one pant leg and sew up the bottom end. Fill with sand, and then sew the top end closed to make a sandbag that can steady a workpiece.
6. Soothe Muscles. Cut off a foot-long section of one pant leg and sew up the bottom end. Fill with rice, and sew the top end closed for a microwavable heating pad.
7. Create Tiebacks. Cut out and save double-stitched inseams: They can double as ropes.
8. Pattern a paint job. Ripped into rags, your old jeans make great applicators for a mottled glaze or faux finish when painting.
9. Make a tool wrap. Cut off a 10-inch section of one pant leg, measured from the bottom hem. Rip the inseam out but leave it attached at the hem. Place the fabric on a flat surface, inside facing out. Place tools on fabric, fold closed, roll up, and tie with the inseam.
10. Make ladder guards. Tape scraps of denim to the ends of an extension ladder to protect your house?s siding.
I've found tornado damaged Greensburg Kansas and how to hold your roof on in a hurricane but you'll have to find the segment on tying your frame together on your own.
The Hardware Aisle: Putting the "green" in Greensburg, Kansas
"Are hungry critters munching their way through your vegetable garden? Is the neighbor's dog leaving "presents" on your lawn? If so, worry no more. The Scarecrow Motion-Activated Sprinkler provides an easy and humane way to scare off pests at any time of the day or night.
Simply poke the sprinkler into the ground and attach a garden hose. Its electric eye can detect the presence of a creature (man or beast) within a 1,000-square-foot area. And when it does, the sprinkler shoots out a spray of water to scare off the uninvited guest.
The Scarecrow Motion-Activated Sprinkler runs on a 9-volt battery and is available on-line for about $48. "
Last night I was thinking of a motion sensor-compressed air gun (paintball) for this same purpose but this is cheaper and simpler.
The Hardware Aisle: August 2011
The Hardware Aisle: Bladder control: Water mattress protects roofs