Nonprofit’s preparedness guide offers actionable steps to reduce damage during severe weather
Connie Bryant Breedlove
Managing Director, Communications
Public Relations Manager
Richburg, S.C., February 8, 2022 – Before severe weather threatens, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) encourages Americans to prepare their homes and businesses with targeted actions to reduce the impact of storms and be thunderstorm ready. Every year, severe thunderstorms lead to hail-damaged roofs, wind-damaged garage doors and roofs, and all too often, structural damage that forces people from their homes and workplaces. IBHS’s Thunderstorm Ready and Thunderstorm Ready–Business guides can help home and business owners proactively protect their properties this spring to reduce the potential for costly damage and disruption.
“You are not powerless against severe weather. Tornadoes and severe weather have long been viewed as too rare to build our homes to withstand, yet we have the engineering solutions to narrow the impact of these storms,” explains IBHS lead research meteorologist Dr. Ian Giammanco. “We need communities to embrace the solutions we know will make a difference when we’re building new homes, by retrofitting our existing homes and with small, last-minute actions.”
IBHS is uniquely able to recreate severe thunderstorm conditions inside its Research Center, exposing full-scale homes and commercial buildings to winds up to 120 mph. By mimicking real-world conditions in a controlled laboratory setting, researchers at IBHS can evaluate how buildings are damaged to provide actionable steps that can prevent a cascade of damage when powerful wind, heavy rain, and hail attack a structure.
Thunderstorm Ready details the actions property owners should take now — before severe weather is in the forecast — to reduce the likelihood of damage, including:
- Trimming trees to remove dead branches and branches overhanging the roof
- Installing a home lightning surge protector to protect against power surges
- Adding protective screens to HVAC units to protect against hail
- Selecting a wind-rated garage door to better withstand pressure from high wind
- Upgrading to steel gutters and downspouts to reduce hail damage
- Replacing an aged or damaged roof with a FORTIFIED Roof™ and using impact-resistant shingles rated Good or Excellent on the IBHS Hail Impact Ratings Scorecard
Thunderstorm Ready includes additional last-minute preparedness actions to take when severe weather is likely that day, like closing interior doors. Meanwhile, Thunderstorm Ready–Business provides similar guidance for business owners and commercial property managers to reduce the impact of severe weather on their facilities.
When severe weather is occurring, focus should turn to protecting yourself. Throughout the year, IBHS encourages home and business owners to use the free guides to keep their property prepared ahead of severe weather.
“As our communities grow, we become a larger target for severe weather. Now, we need to make resilient building and storm prep the norm so our communities are safer and stronger in the face of severe weather. It starts with taking the small steps to be thunderstorm ready,” adds Giammanco.
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
The 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. Learn more about IBHS at DisasterSafety.org.