4 Ways To Ride Out A Tornado
The end of April brought on a trove of deadly tornados, which caused millions of dollars in property damages and cost the lives of around 19 and counting. Unlike the advanced warning of a snowstorm or a hurricane, tornados strike with little to no warning and can destroy everything you have — all your material possessions — in mere seconds. It’s not that they’re the deadliest form of weather event with which Americans have to contend, but they are one of the quickest-acting, most destructive and ruthless.
If you are unfortunate enough to be caught in a tornado this, or any, storm season, here’s what you should do.
Practice Safety First.
If the area where you live has been issued a thunderstorm warning, be on your guard. Tornados can arise from these situations quickly. Have your safety plan in mind and be ready to act on a moment’s notice. Stay tuned in to weather reports for as long as you can, and should the alert go to “tornado warning,” take cover immediately in a room towards the center of your home where there are no glass or windows. If you’ve never dealt with a tornado and don’t know what to expect, you may experience the urge to grab valuables and take them with you. Don’t do it. You can’t afford to test fate when a twister is near, so put the safety of yourself and your family ahead of all else.
Notify Your Insurance Company Immediately.
When a tornado hits, it will bring with it terrifying moments that can seem like an eternity, but in reality only last seconds or a few minutes at the most. Still, a lot can change in that short period of time, so give yourself some time to collect your thoughts and be grateful you’re alive. Once you have it together, get organized and contact your home insurance company at once. Hopefully, you have updated your coverage limits regularly to account for increases in home value and personal possessions. Once you’re in touch with a claims representative, they can work with you to recover the value of what you’ve lost — at least to the extent of which it is recoverable. Unfortunately, there will be some things that a tornado takes away that you can never get back (i.e. family heirlooms, photos, etc.).
Tell Your Story.
The world of social media has worked wonders for disaster relief. In addition to what your insurance policy provides, you can recover much of the losses that a tornado affects on your family by simply telling your story to friends and followers and watching kindness in action. A friend of mine was recently affected by the tornado that hit Mayflower, Arkansas. The only room still standing when the dust had settled was the room they had sought shelter in — her young son’s bathroom. My friend took to social media and simply commented how grateful she was to have survived with her family, unharmed. In less than 24 hours, her friends utilized Facebook to rally a GoFundMe campaign that is up to $5k and counting at the time of this writing. Lesson: don’t be afraid to tell your story to the people who care about you. It’s not as sure of a thing as homeowners insurance when dealing with a tornado or any type of disaster, but it can reap unexpected financial benefits.
Finally, Focus On The Future.
There’s no sugarcoating it. If your home is struck by a tornado, you will at best incur significant damage. At the worst, you could lose your entire home and maybe even your life or the lives of your loved ones. Survival is a gift that you should be thankful for every day. Rather than focusing on the things you’ve lost that you can never get back, lean on friends and family and use your insurance protections to focus on the future. In other words, rebuild your life with what you have, and try not to dwell on what you’ve lost.
Hopefully, a tornado is something that you’ll never have to experience. It packs a whole lot of fear and terror into a very short period of time, and as the intensity increases, the odds of survival plummet. Always, always, always, put your safety first. The financial side can wait.