Are You Prepared for Tornado Season?

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Spring is here which means tornado season is here as well.

A tornado can strike at any moment in any season, however here in Ohio our peak tornado season is generally April to July. Here at Stolly Insurance we want to make sure that not only your home is covered in case of any heavy storms this summer, but also inform you of ways to keep you family and yourself safe.

Always be alert of changing weather patterns during a heavy thunderstorm or rain storm as a tornado may follow. If the sky is looking dark and greenish, you see low-lying clouds, or clouds starting to rotate, be ready to take immediate shelter. Knowing your local tornado warnings will help alert you to any tornadoes in your area, as well as having your local radio or TV station on. Make sure that your family is aware of the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. A watch is when the weather is severe enough that a tornado is possible. A warning is when there is one active and has been spotted in your area.

However, one of the best things you can do for your family is make a Disaster Supplies Kit. This kit will contain anything you may need during or after a tornado. Here are a few ideas to help you get your own kit started;

  • Water for drinking and sanitation. One gallon per person is what is recommended.
  • Food. At least a three day supply of non-perishables.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and batteries.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Moist towelettes.
  • Manual can opener for food.
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
  • Cash.
  • Your pet’s food.
  • Matches in a water proof container.
  • Blankets and sleeping bags.
  • A change of clothes in a water proof container.

Once you have your kit made, you will also need a family communications plan that your entire family knows. First of all, find the locations in your home where you can take shelter if a storm does come. If you do not have a basement or storm shelter, find an inner, first floor room in your house. Be sure to avoid windows! If you happen to be driving when a tornado is coming, the worst place to be is in a car. Exit your car and find immediate shelter, if there is no shelter available, an area that is lower than the road is the best place to be. Also try to cover your head with any extra clothes, a coat, or your arms. In case of emergency your family should have set location they know to meet in case you are separated and phone lines are not working.

Check over your Homeowners Policy with your Stolly Agent!

We can’t stress enough that now is the time to make sure your Homeowners Insurance is up to date. If you have added to your home recently, if you bought something expensive that you want on your homeowners insurance, be sure that your Stolly Insurance agent know about it. While being able to pay for your house is important, it’s also important to be able to adequately cover your belongings inside you home as well. A great way to make sure that they will be covered is to catalog them by taking pictures of them, knowing brands, and also knowing how much you paid for them. This will help make your claims process simpler.

For more information on tornado preparedness, read more here from the Department of Homeland Security.