Jump In a Ditch, It’s Tornado Season!

With the record amount of tornadoes that have touched down in the United States in 2011, maybe it’s time to get yourself ready in case one hits your town. So far in just the month of April, there have been more than 600 reports of tornadoes across the US. Although that number only takes into account those reported or sighted and not actually confirmed, the number is still huge for a single month (the previous high confirmed in April was 267 in 1974). More that 100 tornadoes have been reported in both Alabama and North Carolina, with the average annual in NC normally being only 19 tornadoes. On just the weekend of April 16th, over 60 tornadoes hit the state and caused widespread damage. Are you ready to learn about how to prepare you and your family in case one of these damaging whirlwinds strikes your area? Continue reading to learn some steps to be ready!

                                        *Tornado reports April 1-24, 2011 in the Central and Eastern U.S.

Did you know that tornadoes can occur at anytime of the year, but in the South the peak months are March through June? They are among the most devastating and damaging phenomenas of nature, and about 1,200 tornadoes with wind speeds as high as 300 mph touch down in the United States each year. They are rotating columns of air that touch the ground, spawned by large, severe thunderstorms. These whirlwinds cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries each year, and they can be one mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles.


The following are suggestions to follow when a tornado warning is in your area:

  • Go at once to the basement, storm cellar or the lowest level of the building.
  • If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a smaller inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
  • Get away from the windows.
  • Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they tend to attract debris.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • If you’re in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere.
  • Can’t find shelter? Jump in a ditch! Tornadoes only blow objects around, they don’t suck it up.

If damage does occur to your property, home insurance will cover damage from a tornado and a comprehensive policy for your auto insurance will be needed for coverage of damage to your car. There are also a few steps to take in case damage does occur and you need to make a claim:

  • Take photogtraphs of the damaged property.
  • Give your agent a description of the damage so that it can be reported immediately to the insurance company in order to start your claim rolling.
  • Make a detailed inventory of all damaged personal property. You’ll need two copies: one for yourself and one for the insurance adjuster. Include as much detail as possible, including a description of the items, dates of purchase or approximate age, cost at time of purchase and estimated replacement cost.
  • Make temporary repairs such as covering broken windows and save the receipts for insurance reimbursement.
  • If you can’t live in your house due to damage, make sure to keep a record of expenses such as hotel and meals; your home insurance will cover these additional living expenses.


With the amount of recent tornadoes all across the United States, it’s time to be ready for any kind of emergency. Call Spivey Insurance Group today at 877-318-5951 to talk to one of our friendly agents to learn more about North Carolina homeowners’ insurance, or visit our website for valuable information on NC insurance.

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