Tornado Facts And Safety Protocols Part 2
There has been an increase in the number of tornadoes throughout the 1950s and 1960s, however, this increase is most likely the result of improved communications, an increase in the population, and greater public awareness of severe weather events and the problems that can be associated with them.
Of course, no one can stop a tornado once it is on the ground, but there are steps that property owners can take ahead of time to minimize the damage and make recovery times that much faster.
For starters, make a detailed home inventory of all your belongings, accompanied by photo or video records. Keep this inventory off-site in a safe deposit box or other secure location, as this will provide an accurate record for both you and your insurance provider should a loss occur as a result of a tornado or other severe weather event. This inventory should be updated every two years or so, and especially every time that you move.
When compiling this inventory, go through each room in the home and list every item found there, if possible including purchase date, price, and model number. If you have antiques, jewelry, or other costly items, provide written appraisals of each one. Many insurance companies provide property inventory forms that are easy to understand and fill out.
When using a camera to photograph or video items, make sure you cover the entire room, obtaining close-ups of expensive items such as jewelry, furs, and china. You may also wish to group items together for easier inventory. Provide narration on video through the notation of purchase costs and dates, including model numbers and serial numbers for all electronic devices and appliances.
Your automobile is the second most expensive investment you will have on your property, so vehicles should be properly sheltered in a garage, under a tarp, or some form of cover designed for their protection. Vehicles are protected under the comprehensive portion of an auto policy, covering any and all damage by windstorms or hail.
After your property has been damaged, again photograph the damage and inventory losses, as these photos will prove invaluable when settling your claim. Make sure to secure the property from further damage or theft and save all related receipts, since your insurer should reimburse for such expenses.
Sometimes tornado damage requires that residents seek temporary housing, so make sure that you have a “loss of use” clause in your policy to cover such an eventuality. Many policies will cover temporary housing up to a predetermined amount.
Obviously, the threat of a tornado goes beyond just the one single event. The damage inflicted may be with you for weeks or even months until properly repaired and restored. Take the time now to prepare and protect your property before severe weather strikes your community.