While many people think tornadoes impact only the Midwest, every state in the country is vulnerable to tornadoes, according to NOAA. Approximately 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. each year, causing an average of $24,000 in home damage and $4,000 in auto damage. Our claims department reviewed data related to tornadoes from 2008 and 2012 and found that other than a direct hit, the majority of tornado damage to homes and cars occurs from falling tree debris or fallen trees.
Since this week is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, it’s the perfect time to learn about the ways you can prep your car and home.
Prep your car before a tornado
If the area you live in is under a tornado watch, which means that tornadoes are possible in the nearby area, move your car into a garage or away from any trees. Do not, however, attempt to do this if conditions are unsafe or if your area is under a tornado warning.
Prep your home before a tornado
To prep your home before a tornado, trim trees and shrubbery. Be on the lookout for weak branches that could fall on your home. You should also replace landscaping materials like gravel and rock with mulch. If weather forecasters are projecting severe weather in the coming days, move anything in your yard that may become flying debris inside your house or garage.
Other general tornado preparation tips
If a tornado watch is in effect in your area:
- Carefully monitor local radio and television broadcasts for announcements
- Turn off all utilities
- Close all of your windows
- Never take shelter under a bridge or overpass
If you live in a tornado prone area or a tornado watch is in effect, follow the tips in our tornado preparation infographic.