Erie Insurance Warns on Tornado Preparation

April 21, 2005

There really is no place like home.

And, no matter where one makes their home, wind damage is a very real possibility. Each year approximately 1,000 tornados are reported in the United States, the majority occurring during the spring and summer months. And, they’re not just in Kansas.

Tornados can occur in almost every state. That’s why advance planning and quick response time is key to protecting one’s property and surviving a funnel shaped disaster.

Families should be prepared before disaster strikes. Scott Huber of Erie Insurance advised, “It’s important to take action before weather emergencies to make sure your family and property is protected. Talk to your agent, make sure you have purchased an appropriate amount of insurance and have a current and complete inventory of your possessions. The inventory will help facilitate the claim if your belongings are damaged.”

According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), over the past
12 years, insurers paid out more than $100 billion in catastrophe related claims – about $700 million per month.

Losses from tornados and windstorms are generally covered under standard auto, home and business insurance policies. Homeowners insurance covers damage to both the structure of the home and personal belongings. There is also coverage for property damage under renters, condo/co-op and mobile home policies.

“Manufactured homes are particularly vulnerable to wind damage,” Huber said. “When a tornado watch or warning is issued, be sure to check tie-downs and go to a safe location.”

Erie Insurance Group also recommends the following:

– Keep disaster supplies on hand such as flashlights, batteries, medications and a first aid kit.
– Develop a communication plan for emergencies in case family members are separated from each other.
– Prepare for windy or stormy weather by moving lawn furniture and yard equipment inside. If left outside they could become dangerous projectiles. If possible, move cars inside a garage.

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