Summer is a time of great fun, relaxation, and making memories.  The last question people want to be asking themselves is, what’s the best insurance in Atlanta for my home?

It can also be a time when you need to file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance in Atlanta.

During the summer in the South, weather can change dramatically in a matter of minutes. Being prepared can make the difference in having to file and insurance claim and getting back to the business of enjoying of the season.

Here are 5 tips that will help you avoid that dreaded call to the insurance claims hotline:

1. Pay attention to the weather. Watch the weather reports each day to ensure you know what’s coming. You can often get advance notice of impending severe weather, giving you time to make preparations to protect your home.

If you don’t have time to watch the news daily, visit any of the three big news stations’ websites for quick links to forecasts and weather alerts. Download apps for The Weather Channel on your phone. Above all, keep an eye to the sky and know the signs of changing weather.

2. Trim tree limbs. As you perform routine maintenance on your home, pay attention to the tree limbs. Keep them cut away from the house, and remove any dead or dying branches.

Tree limbs can do major damage to your home, causing you to need to file a claim on your Atlanta area homeowner’s insurance policy. If you aren’t comfortable removing the limbs, or if you have a tree to be removed, ask your insurance agent for names of tree services in the area.

3. Secure lawn furniture. If you know that a storm or high winds are coming to your area, secure your lawn furniture. Blowing pieces of furniture can damage your home, or even your neighbor’s home, making an insurance claim necessary.

Consider moving furniture into your garage or a protected area of your patio. Don’t forget about other light objects that could be blown around, like toys, planters, bird houses, and feeders.

4. Check gutters. Each spring and fall, you should check your gutters. If they are clogged, a severe summer storm with torrential rain and high winds could pull them down or cause water damage to the roof or walls of your home. A falling gutter might result in the need for a homeowner’s insurance claim! Remember to follow ladder safety tips as you check your gutters.

5. Report clogged storm drains. After a tropical deluge in Atlanta, storm drains can become blocked by debris from limbs, trash, and mud. If you see a clogged storm drain, call your local authorities to report it.

Then call your homeowner’s insurance agent to find out about water damage coverage and discuss the need for flood insurance in your area. Water rushing around a storm drain could damage your home’s foundation, so be sure you have the right coverage before you need to file a claim.