Starting with the month of March and into June, the U.S. goes through the tornado season. Yet, due to the dramatic changes in the climate, plenty of tornado outbreaks buck this pattern. An average of 1,224 tornadoes touch down per year across the country, with Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma holding the top positions for the most affected states. Are you getting ready?
Most tornadoes form from severe thunderstorms and hurricanes can also create them. Winds may exceed 300 miles per hour and can lift cars, mobile homes and animals into the air. The most destructive and deadly tornadoes are formed from supercells, some rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation called a mesocyclone. These natural disasters can also produce hail, severe non-tornadic winds, frequent lightning and flash floods.
This is the nick of time for homeowners, renters and business owners to review their insurance policies and do their part in protecting their property from weather-related hazards.
First and foremost, identify a location to use as shelter if a tornado is announced in your area and then prepare as you would for any other natural disaster:
- Make an inventory with all your possessions, if you haven’t already, and store it somewhere in the cloud.
- Review your insurance policy. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, so better check under exclusions too. A quick call to your insurance company could help you make a clear idea about your coverage.
- While you’re at it, make sure you understand the differences between actual cash value and replacement cost coverage for your belongings and get the best type of coverage for you. The short version is this: the ACV policy replaces your items at cost minus depreciation, while replacement cost coverage means that your possessions will be replaced at today’s prices.
If you’re not convinced, a reminder of the 2011 Super Outbreak. The event is ranked as the most prolific tornado outbreak in the US history, having produced 362 tornadoes, 218 oh which formed in a single 24-hour period on April 27. The natural disaster took the lives of 348 people.