Experts encourage you to prepare for storms

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – It’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, and storms could return to Middle Georgia this weekend.

Organizations like the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, want homeowners to avoid property damage.

IBHS Research Meteorologist, Dr. Ian Giammanco shared tips on how you can prepare before the next severe storm.

“With these springtime storms, we know we get high winds, heavy rains, hail and even tornadoes. This past week we had a few tornado outbreaks, it’s that time of the year so we need to make sure we are paying attention to the weather,” Giammanco said.

7 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Spring Storms

In Advance of Severe Weather

  1. Trim Trees – Trees in your yard can pose a threat during high winds so have them trimmed by a professional and remove any branches that overhang the house and any dead, dying or diseased trees.
  2. Organize Your Garage – Parking in your garage is an easy way to prevent damage to your vehicle, but for many of us storage of bikes, gardening tools and lots of clutter make that difficult, especially in a pinch. Ahead of spring storms, organize your garage so you can easily park your car when severe weather, especially hail, is in the forecast.
  3. Locate and Prepare a Safe Place in Your Home – Designate a safe room in your home, and then clean and organize it to make it easily accessible during an emergency. Choose an interior room with no windows on the lowest floor of the home, such as a basement, storm cellar, bathroom or closet.
  4. Create a Home Inventory – Be sure to document your belongings before a storm. It will be much easier than to create a detailed list or video of your belongings in case you have damage and need to file an insurance claim after a storm.
  5. Set up Three Ways to Receive Weather Alerts – It’s critical that you have a system in place to get information when severe weather is near so you can react quickly in an emergency. Do NOT rely on sirens.
  6. Clean Your Yard – Items in your yard can become flying debris and damage your home when a thunderstorm with high winds comes through. Move items like patio furniture, plant pots, bicycles, grills, garbage cans, and children’s toys into a garage or storage building before you leave home for the day if severe weather is expected.
  7. Close Your Garage Door and All Interior Doors – The garage door can be one of the most vulnerable parts of your home in a storm so, in addition to closing exterior doors and windows, close your garage door all the way. Then also close all interior doors. This gives your roof a fighting chance in high winds because if a window is broken by flying debris or a door has blown open, your house will rapidly fill with air. This causes a dangerous increase in the forces pushing on the roof―imagine a balloon inflating inside your house. Rigorous scientific wind testing on a full-scale 1,400-square-foot single-story home at the IBHS Research Center reveals that closing interior doors help compartmentalize the pressure inside a home into smaller areas, reducing the force on the roof by as much as 30%, which gives the roof a better chance of staying intact.