Despite the unseasonable winter-like chill, it is severe weather awareness week in Pennsylvania! Severe weather is most common here in the Midstate from May through August, and now is the time to start thinking about preparing your home and property.

We talked to Dr. Tanya Brown-Giammanco, Managing Director of Research at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). IBHS specializes in protecting your home and business properties from severe weather impacts and has some preparation steps that are easy to do (For more:

Dr. Brown-Giammanco says some of the steps homeowners should do include, “checking the caulking around the windows, another good small item like that is gutters and downspouts just making sure they are well attached not shaking around or anything like that so they don’t become flying debris or hit against the home if there is high winds.”

Each year we get a handful of strong hail storms that can be devastating to crops, cars, and even rooftops.

“Hail is one that is hard to take any precautions for. You could move in things like your patio furniture, things that are mobile. Making sure that you know in advance that your car can be moved in if you have a garage or covering. If your home does have damage you will want to consider replacing it with a roofing product that gets a good or excellent performance score on our IBHS hail ratings,” states Dr. Brown-Giammanco. (Link to IBHS hail ratings:

In central Pennsylvania wind damage from trees is always a threat to your roof a during thunderstorm. You can save the inside of your home from more significant wind damage if you sustain roof or window damage from fallen trees. Dr. Brown-Giammanco says, “One tip we proved out in our lab is shut your interior doors. It’s something that is really easy, shut your hallway doors, your closet doors, your bedroom doors when you leave for the day. It helps just a little bit in resisting high winds.”

Taking that quick step in shutting your interior doors could limit damage to one room if the windows are blown out. This helps reduce the pressure changes in the home.

For more information in preparing for all type of extreme weather, check out and to learn more about severe weather awareness week in Pennsylvania go to