ATLANTA -- Recent storms mixed with a drought on Wednesday, creating hazards across metro Atlanta. Large branches snapped and fell to the ground as wet soil combined with wind to completely uproot several trees.

Now, as the community cleans up after the storms, 11Alive is looking at how you can prepare for the next wave of weather.

11Alive’s Ron Jones spoke with arborist Christine Bryant with Gunnison Professional Tree Care, Thursday afternoon. She said the drought and storms both contributed to the damage but that there are three major factors that are often overlooked.

Thursday morning, many witnessed the aftermath of a storm that left the ground saturated and unstable.

Those played a role as the driver of a pickup truck traveling on an Atlanta street became pinned after a huge branch crashed down onto him. Luckily he survived.

But Bryant said there are ways to avoid near tragedies such as this one by clearing mature trees of hanging vines, removing large mushrooms from the base trees and always looking for cracks and holes in trunks and branches.

Bryant examined one tree that was already severely damaged.

“Basically this branch is failing,” she said. “I can tell it’s hollow and its cracking because it’s simply a cylinder that has no center anymore. So they cell walls of the cylinder are failing and I can’t believe it’s still standing.”

She said there are other hidden dangers to consider as well when inspecting a tree.

She recommends hiring a professional to keep family – and strangers – safe.