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IBHS Urges Disaster Preparation as Severe Weather Pummels the Nation

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Tampa, Fla. (April 22, 2011) – With 5,000 severe weather incidents reported this month, including tornadoes, hail and high winds, Severe Weather Awareness Week (April 18 – 22) is extremely timely, says the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, April has set a tentative record for storms, with 509 tornadoes sighted in the U.S., breaking the previous mark of 267 tornadoes, which occurred in April 1974.

"April already has been a truly extreme month in terms of severe, damaging weather – and the month isn’t over yet," said Julie Rochman, IBHS president & CEO. "Wildfires are burning from border to border in Texas, destroying nearly 200 homes. And tornadoes, high winds and hail continue to pummel the Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions."

Rochman noted that "this relentless, dangerous weather demonstrates the importance of hardening your home or business before disaster strikes," she added. "Some natural disasters, like hurricanes, come with a bit of warning time, but others, such as tornadoes, wildfires and hailstorms, happen and change very quickly, Home and business owners should act now – during the calm before or between storms to protect their families, homes and businesses."

IBHS offers property owners information (some of which cost little or nothing to do) on how to effectively reduce their risk from damage due to severe weather:

For more information about IBHS and/or to arrange an interview with IBHS, contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045, jking@ibhs.org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.

About IBHS

IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.

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