Homes typically come apart in high winds because the roof gets blown off and the exterior walls collapse inward. Using steel hurricane straps to anchor your roof to the house is cheap and easy, and other steel reinforcements can be used to strengthen the walls.
Flimsy garage doors are another common source of house failure — the wind blows them in, then blasts through the house and rips the walls and ceiling apart. A 1982 review found that in 104 cases of home roof damage after a tornado in Grand Island, Nebraska, nearly 50 percent started via the garage. Steel or reinforced garage doors are the solution.