LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Wildfires continue to rage in the western half of the country and hurricane season has already caused widespread devastation from the Gulf Coast to the Eastern Seaboard.

“It’s as if Mother Nature, through climate change, has busted through the front door of American families,” says Roy Wright, president and CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

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But researchers say there are ways to protect homes before disaster strikes. Clearing vegetation, for example, can double a home’s chance of surviving a wildfire.

“For five feet all the way around, it should be noncombustible,” Wright tells CBS News‘ Bradley Blackburn.

In a video demonstration from IBHS, embers are shown hitting two homes. One of the homes has a five-foot gravel bed that helps protect it. The other, which has wood mulch, ignites and spreads flames to the wood shingle siding.

In Northern California’s Marin County, inspectors go door-to-door looking for hazards, like a juniper plant next to the house.

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“Juniper, in general, is just flammable. It goes up like a torch,” according to one inspector.

Meantime, last year’s Atlantic hurricane season saw a record 30 named storms, including Hurricane Sally, which led to $60 billion in damage. But Matt Fetner’s home in Orange Beach, Alabama was mostly unscathed.

“Standing in my front yard, there are one, two, three, four, five new roofs in the cul de sac we live in,” Fetner said in a video posted on social media. “Ours is the only roof that made it through that storm.”

Fetner’s roof is fortified. The shingles are secured with special nails, and underneath there’s an extra water barrier.

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IBHS researchers say its fortified roof standard is now on some 14,000 homes nationwide.