ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winter weather itself can be dangerous, but high winds can lead to something even more dangerous; falling trees.

More people are killed by falling trees in the U.S. every year than by sharks, according to Homes. While sharks have a reputation of being vicious killers, only 4-7 people lose their lives to shark attacks each year.

By comparison, over 100 people die by falling trees every year.

Being indoors when trees fall gives residents some protection, but they are still in danger. It is important for them to know what to do if a tree falls onto their house.

The first thing that they should do is leave their house and property as soon as they can. While trees can be knocked down due to high winds, the same can be said for power lines. Residents should beware of any downed electrical wires while they are fleeing.

In addition to this, many houses have gas lines connected, and these could have also been damaged. Any spark could start a blaze, so people should avoid using their phones to call for help until they are away from their residence.

Once they are a safe distance away, residents should call emergency services. First responders will come to the scene to make sure that the house is still safe and to treat any injuries that might have occured.

Falling trees can greatly damage a person’s house. Residents should contact their insurance providers as soon as possible to see if they can cover any emergency costs.

As far as actually getting the tree removed and damage fixed, residents will have to put in some time on their phone.

Even if the tree misses the house, the root system might grow under the residence. A contractor will be able to assess any damage inside of the house as well as be able to see just how expensive roof repairs will be if the tree did indeed fall on the house.

Contractors will only focus on repairing the home, so residents should also make sure to contact a tree removal company to get rid of the limbs. Experts advise homeowners against removing the tree or doing repairs themselves, as they might not be able to tell the full extent of the damage.

Even if the damage seems small, it could have still caused damage to the structural integrity of the house.