Tornados - What every property owner should know

Large hail, strong winds, tornados...they all can wreak havoc not only with our emotions but our property. When we are faced with the volatile weather that occurs in the spring there are a few things to keep in mind.

 

tornado, property

  • MYTH: Areas near rivers, lakes, and mountains are safe from tornadoes. 
  • FACT: No place is safe from tornadoes. In the late 1980's, a tornado swept through Yellowstone National Park leaving a path of destruction up and down a 10,000 ft. mountain.
  • MYTH: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to "explode" as the tornado passes overhead.
  • FACT: Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause most structural damage.
  • MYTH: Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.
  • FACT: Opening windows allows damaging winds to enter the structure. Leave the windows alone; instead, immediately go to a safe place.
  • MYTH: Tornados never strike large cities.
  • FACT: In the past several years, tornados have roared through several major cities including Miami; Nashville and Fort Worth, Texas.
  • MYTH: Tornados never strike large cities.
  • FACT: In the past several years, tornados have roared through several major cities including Miami; Nashville and Fort Worth, Texas.
  • MYTH: Funnel size and shape determine the strength of a tornado.
  • FACT: A thin funnel cloud known as a “rope tornado” can be as strong as a wide-funneled “wedge tornado”. The ranking of a tornado is based on the Fujita Scale which categorizes tornadoes according to the degree of destruction. There have been F5 and F4 tornadoes generated from both narrow and wide funnels.

Despite all the negative press that has us tossing and turning and nibbling at our nails when the sirens start to sound, there is some positive information regarding these natural disasters. The death toll from tornadoes has declined because of better construction methods, safety codes, rescue units and improved medical procedures and practices.

We also have access to storm warnings. For a time, the federal government wanted to ban tornado warnings fearing the populace would panic. Thank heavens, common sense prevailed. Perhaps the only real protection is to stay calm and have an emergency plan. If bad weather strikes, stay tuned to the television or radio for those tornado watch and warning announcements, and if they say to take cover...take cover.

In the meantime, relax and stay calm. You have your friends at Stuckey & Co. who will be on hand to assist you manage with all of your insurance claims, should they arise.

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Topics: tornadoes, tornado, insurance claim, weather, storms

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