Shut the Doors on Hurricane Irma

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Susan G. Millerick
(813) 675-1066

TAMPA, September 6, 2017 – Following rigorous scientific wind testing on a full-scale, 1,400 square foot single-story home in its unique laboratory this summer, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has important new guidance for all homeowners preparing for major wind storms such as Hurricane Irma: close all interior doors, in addition to all windows and exterior doors.

High winds, such as those currently expected from Hurricane Irma, place homes under intense pressure. Wind entering the home through an open or broken window, can create strong upward pressure on the roof. Closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside the home into smaller areas reducing the overall force on the roof structure, which gives the roof a better chance of staying intact.

“The roof is your first line of defense against anything Mother Nature inflicts on a home, and during a bad storm your roof endures fierce pressure from wind, rain, and flying debris that may be outside,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “But the roof also must withstand internal pressure if winds get inside. The pressure in your home can build like air in a balloon, eventually causing the roof to fail and blow apart, which – particularly in a hurricane – allows water to come pouring in.”

As the eastern United States and Caribbean islands prepare for Hurricane Irma, IBHS urges homeowners to follow all evacuation orders and be sure to shut the doors on Irma to increase its ability to withstand the storm.

IBHS offers additional hurricane preparedness tips here. The Institute will provide further data behind our summer wind testing findings in October.


About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) IBHS’ mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss.