You don't have to be hit by a tornado to experience damage. Taking a little time to prepare could save you thousands of dollars and hours of cleanup.
Before a Tornado
Know What Your Insurance Covers and How Much You Need
In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide. Oftentimes, homes close to a tornado are damaged or destroyed by wind, rain and flying debris. Your insurance policy covers repair or rebuilding costs.
If you can't live in your home while it is being repaired or rebuilt, your insurance may help pay for additional living expenses as provided in your policy. Review your policy for detailed coverage explanations.
Review your insurance policy once a year to make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild based on current construction costs. We recommend you work with an independent building contractor to get a precise estimate, and make sure you talk to your agent about your home's unique features.
How to Reduce Tornado Damage
You can't make your home or business tornado-proof, but you can take steps that improve the odds of surviving the high winds. You may want to call on professionals for the more technical jobs.
- Start at the top - your roof. Fix any areas that need repair. If you are planning to replace your roof, select materials that are designed to withstand high wind.
- If you are planning to replace your windows, select impact-resistant window systems, which have a much better chance of surviving a major windstorm.
- Anchor door frames securely to wall framing. Make certain your doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt security lock with a bolt at least one inch long.
What to Do If a Tornado is Headed Your Way
- If you are in a building, move to an underground shelter, or interior room or hallway on the lowest floor.
- Stay away from windows and corners.
- If you are in your car, get out immediately and find safe shelter or lie flat in a ditch. Do not take shelter under an overpass or bridge.
- Flying debris causes most injuries and fatalities, so use your arms to protect your head and neck