Why a slow tornado season is no reason to scale back on preps - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Why a slow tornado season is no reason to scale back on preps

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

It has been a quiet tornado season so far, however, experts warn against getting lax with preparations. They say there are some relatively easy things and some pricey ones homeowners can do to protect their homes and property.

Insurance experts say consider landscaping with mulch rather than gravel or pebbles, which can become dangerous if picked up by strong winds. They say bring in potted plants, lawn furniture, grills and anything else not bolted or tied down.

And, even for those things anchored to the ground, there's no guarantee they will stay there.

"A lot of people, I believe just don't know the benefits or don't realize maybe that their trees are very thick and very susceptible to blowing over in a storm," explains Robert Thompson, the owner of Palmetto Tree Service.

Thompson says the key is to make trees wind-resistant by removing crossing and crowding branches and dead branches, essentially thinning them out.

"The lower areas have been pruned, but the canopies have probably never been pruned, and you can see how you can't see through them so they're not very wind-resistant."

Thompson says he realizes tree-pruning isn't a high priority on the budget, but he says it's a long term investment in your home.

"When you have, especially, a large tree thinned properly, it's many, many years that it's less susceptible to blowing over in a storm. It's not something like you have to do year-after-year."

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