Heartland Homeowners Prepare for Tornado Season

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According to a 2013 National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study, 43 severe local storms were reported between 1980-2011, representing $94.6 billion in adjusted damages. These costs are significant contributors to high homeowners insurance rates for families in the Midwest, but of more immediate concern is the risk to their safety.

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NOAA, was held on Mar. 2-8, 2014 and spurred a flurry of activity as residents prepared for tornado season.

Tornado Season Drills Prepare Residents for Worst

On Tuesday, Mar. 11, more than one million Virginians registered to take part in a statewide tornado drill to help them prepare for tornado season. Local news station WTVR reported on drills at area schools where students learned to put as many walls between themselves and the building exterior as possible and to crouch in a duck-and-cover position should a tornado hit.

Additionally, Indiana residents will be participating in a similar drill Mar. 20, where these extreme weather events are already a concern. WRBI Radio points to a Feb. 21 tornado in Osgood, IN, where a homeowner and her granddaughter escaped injury by sheltering themselves in an interior room within their home.The home was damaged, along with a barn located approximately one mile away, where the storm lost strength and dissipated.

Related: How Is Climate Change Going to Impact Homeowners Insurance Rates?

Awareness Continues to Help Keep Residents Safe and Homeowners Insurance Rates Low

According to USA Today, Tornadoes are most frequent in Texas and Oklahoma. These states do not schedule statewide drills, but rely on local counties to prepare residents for possible disaster. In most states, however, statewide drills are the norm, some specifically for tornado season and some for other severe weather storms.

Residents can find safety sessions and events in their state, as well as other resources that can be helpful in keeping the cost of homeowners insurance rates low before a natural disaster strikes by checking NOAA’s Weather Preparedness Events Calendar.

By Jmos®