Snyder Insurance April 10, 2015 No Comments

Tornadoes, Homeowners Insurance and You

There are many dangerous myths about tornadoes that continue to put people at great risk of injury and even death. So, for the safety of you and your family, let’s put a few of them to rest once and for all!

Dallas Tornado: 1960

Tornado approaching Dallas, TX April 2, 1957. Source; National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Myth 1: “Tornadoes don’t touch down in the Fall and Winter months.”

While the peak season for tornadoes in the upper Midwest occurs in June and July, Mother Nature doesn’t honor man-made trends or seasons. As we experienced, tornadoes can strike at virtually anytime during the year, even during the winter months when tornado activity moves into the northern Midwest. Check your homeowners insurance to make sure you’re properly covered.

Myth 2: Tornadoes don’t touch down in major cities.”

False! While those living in rural areas need to remain especially vigilant year round, given the high incidence of violent thunderstorms over the countryside, people residing in cities and suburbs are also at risk! Did you know that an F-3 category tornado tore through downtown Chicago on May 6, 1878, leaving 2 dead and 35 injured? Other cities such as Nashville, St. Louis, Ft. Worth, Louisville and even Washington, D.C. have also been hit by tornadoes in their histories, some several times.

Myth 3: “When your hear a tornado warning, you should open all the windows in your house to equalize the pressure.”

The last thing you should be doing is wasting precious time opening up windows in your house. Concentrate on getting to a safe area of your home such as a basement or crawl space. If you’re in a restaurant or grocery store, get to a walk-in freezer. Don’t know where to go? Watch this video from the American Red Cross.

Myth 4: “I live on a river, which naturally protects me from tornadoes.”

Not true! Tornadoes are not deterred by rivers. In 1896, for example, an F-4 twister jumped across the Mississippi River and laid waste to downtown St. Louis, killing 255 people. If you live on a river, you still need proper homeowners insurance to protect you.

Myth 5: “I live in a brick home, which protects me from a tornado.”

Unlike the big bad wolf, a tornado’s “breath,” which can reach speeds of 150 – 300 mph, could easily blow a 2×4 through though any brick wall on the third little piggy’s bungalow! They’re not too fond of music, either.

Got Homeowners Insurance?

So, there you have it. There’s one more myth we’d like to add to the list, too. There’s nothing you own that’s worth risking the lives of you or your family! Don’t play the odds. That’s why you have homeowners insurance!