Weathering the Storm
As we know, many thousands of people on the East Coast were affected by the tropical storm ‘Fiona’. This event was reported by BBC as ‘historic and extreme’, with winds gusting over 160km/hr. Homes, powerlines, and trees were ripped from the ground – and very likely, any yurts remaining were left in poor condition. There is some hope to secure your yurts in extreme weather, such as a hurricane, as we received this hopeful message from a customer:
“Thanks for all your help and advice! Our yurts survived 170+ km/hour winds. We lost our entire forest. Well over 1000 trees came down. Many were snapped in half, ripped out at the roots, or just blown away. Miraculously not one single tree fell onto those yurts in a way that would damage them. Some fell near the yurts or around them, but no direct hits no real damage! To secure our yurts, we tied three or four deck blocks together and then secured them to the centre Toono and that really seemed to help provide a counterweight against the lift from the hurricane. All in all, we feel lucky despite the destruction around us.”
In the same vein, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the US, Hurricane Ian, is currently devastating Florida. The storm has “swamped southwest Florida, flooding streets and buildings, knocking out power to 1.8 million people and threatening catastrophic damage further inland.” As Ian continues its path, we’d like to mitigate and manage the damages these storms can cause on yurts – now and in the future. Below, we’ve included some tips for securing your yurt in extreme weather.
Tips & Tricks to Secure Yurts in Hurricanes
The best way to tackle the damage is to look at the frame systematically.
- Shifting Toono from High Winds: We urge you to check if the center is aligned with the door, and then work your way down from there. Are the huns in their notches? Have they cracked? The stress of the shift can create a ripple effect.
- Saturated Yurt from Heavy Rains: Once the ‘skeleton’ of the yurt has been assessed, you must look for water damage. If the yurt covers are not too saturated, you can can heat it with a wood stove. The heat will dry out the air, and can be circulated by opening the toono, door, or window (or all the above).
- Oversaturated Yurt from Storm Surge: If your felts have been soaked, the yurt will need to breathe. It’s best to hang the felt in an area that is circulating air. In the past, we’ve created a makeshift clothesline by tying ropes to multiple trees and placing the felts on the lines to dry. Of course, this is not the only way to hang the felts, and depending on the resources at hand, your solution may look a little different.
- Collapsed Structure from Extreme Winds: A worst-case scenario is the collapse of your yurt structure due to extreme winds. If you find yourself in this situation, then the damage is severe. We urge you to take pictures and contact us – we will build a customized parts order for you as quickly as possible. We will be travelling to the Eastern & East-Central states at the end of October and can arrange delivery in some cases.
We hope you feel more confident to secure your yurts in hurricanes. If you’re having issues with any of the above tips, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are always here to help you. Otherwise, if you have the skills – Mcgyvering a solution is a wonderful way to honour the ingenuity and resilience of the Mongolian spirit. Their nomadic lifestyles often create scenarios that can only be solved through creative and inspiring problem-solving.
Sending you so much love, blessings, and good fortune.
The Groovy Yurts Team
Next Read: How to Control Humidity in Yurts >
Groovy Note: We are always ‘at yurt service’ for advice and recommendations. And we love to hear yurt stories.
Contact us today if you have any questions, comments or anecdotes.