What if a Tornado Hits My Home?

“It’s a twistah!  It’s a twistah!”

Whenever I think of tornadoes, I can’t help but think of Bert Lahr’s line as Zeke (but later dreamed of by Dorothy as the Cowardly Lion) in The Wizard of Oz.  I think of the line almost jokingly, but watching a tornado bear down on your home is no laughing matter.  Here are the things you should do if you’re facing the possibility of a tornado hitting your home.

Insurance

Fortunately, tornado damage is covered in standard homeowners insurance, unlike flood or earthquake insurance.  You do, however, want to make sure you have adequate coverage for both the structure itself and the things inside of it.  Of course, you can contact us to discuss your needs on that front.

Preparation

Here are some tips if you’re under a tornado warning.

  • Know where you’re going.  In case you need to get away, know evacuation routes and safe places you can go.
  • If you do have to leave, don’t worry about big expensive things like your 80″ TV; insurance will cover that (because you spoke to us and made sure you’ve got enough coverage).  Take the things that can’t be replaced.
  • Store up medical supplies, including a few days’ worth of medications, just in case.
  • Take a home inventory.
  • Make sure all your important documents are in a safe place.  Putting them on a USB drive and keeping that with you or, even better, backing them up in the cloud with a free service like Dropbox or Google Docs is an even better option.

If Your Home is Hit by a Tornado

If your home or area has been hit, make sure your family and neighbors are okay then call your insurance company to report damage.  The sooner you get the process moving, the sooner you’ll be able to receive help and start getting back on your feet.

Make sure you document any damage to your property, with pictures or video if possible.  You can make quick repairs to your home, but you’ll want to make sure your insurance agency knows exactly what damage has been done.

Keep in mind, in the event that your home is uninhabitable, that most homeowners insurance policies will reimburse living expenses, so make sure you get those details from your agent.

Hopefully you’ll never have to worry about facing a tornado, but it’s always best to be prepared.

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