One of the biggest dangers from thunderstorms is flying debris caused by high winds that can damage buildings and endanger people. Take a look around your home or business and make these improvements to reduce your risk:
- Replace gravel/rock landscaping materials and walkways with a softer material, such as mulch or dirt. During particularly strong hurricanes, gravel has been found in mail boxes and has even shredded vinyl siding.
- Trim trees and shrubbery away from buildings and remove any weakened sections of trees that might easily break off and fall onto buildings. Review IBHS’ Reducing Tree Damage guide to learn how to identify common problems, how to prune before a storm, and what to do with storm-damaged trees.
- Contact your local utility company to trim away any limbs close to utility lines that could potentially pull down lines or even entire poles. When trimming trees it is important never to touch any wires. Trimming should usually be done by a contractor or the local utility company.
- Promptly remove any debris in your yard or surrounding your business, such as tree trimmings, to reduce the risks of flying debris during high winds. Avoid placing yard debris in an area where it could end up in the street or near drains, which could become clogged during a thunderstorm’s heavy downpour.
- Secure any parts of fencing that appear weakened or loose. High winds can easily dislodge boards and pieces from a fence, creating flying debris.
- When thunderstorms are forecast, remove loose objects outside, such as lawn furniture, signs, garbage cans and potted plants.