According to World Population Review.com, we see an average of 30 tornados a year here in Georgia—more than nearly 70% of US states. While tornado activity is typically highest between March and May, they can happen at any time, and it’s essential to prepare.
Being ready for any extreme weather event will help you react quickly and rationally. Here are 5 survival tips for tornado season.
1. Protect Your Property
There are measures you can take to minimize property damage during a tornado. Inspect your house and yard and consider the following steps:
- Thin out tree branches to enable wind to blow through. Take care to remove any damaged or diseased tree limbs.
- Clear your yard of any loose items, including firewood, plastic furniture, and anything else that can fly at high speed in strong wind.
- Look into installing permanent shutters that you can quickly close to protect your windows.
- Reinforce garage doors to make sure no flying debris can destroy them.
2. Stay Safe During a Tornado
If there’s a tornado watch in your area, follow the weather reports. Assemble an emergency preparedness kit and ensure that you are close to a tornado-safe shelter. If there is a tornado warning, you need to evacuate to a safe place immediately with your family and pets.
Some examples of tornado-safe places include:
- Storm cellars
- Ground-floor windowless rooms
If you get caught in a high-rise building during a tornado, and there’s no time to get to the ground floor, go to an interior hallway or room with no windows. Likewise, remember: mobile homes are never safe during a tornado. Prepare beforehand to evacuate to a nearby safe shelter.
3. Keep Safe after a Tornado and Return Home Safely
Continue listening to weather reports until the tornado is over and it is safe to come out of the shelter. If you have evacuated from your area, only return when the local authorities announce you can do so safely.
If you or anyone near you were injured, provide first aid to the best of your ability until emergency responders reach you. As you return to your area or come out of your local shelter, be careful of broken gas lines or fallen power lines. Report any hazards to your local utility company.
Inspect your home’s structure and utilities, and don’t enter the house if it appears unsafe. Don’t begin the restoration process before documenting the damage and contacting your insurance company.
4. Get in Touch With Your Insurance Company: Filing a Claim
Take pictures of any damage, including your home, yard, appliances, and other possessions. You’ll need this to file an insurance claim.
To improve your odds of receiving fair compensation for tornado property damage:
- Get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as possible.
- Follow your insurance company’s guidelines carefully, supply any necessary documentation, and give full, accurate answers to any questions.
- Obtain a professional estimate assessing the damage costs.
Unfortunately, insurance companies may dispute the damage assessment during the insurance claims process or look for loopholes to deny or minimize the claim. When handling your claim, they may argue that some of the damages were your fault or that estimated repair costs are lower than you declare.
A public adjuster can help you negotiate with your insurance provider. Insurance adjusters know how to deal with the underhanded tactics some unscrupulous insurance companies tend to use.
5. Clean and Repair Your Property
Be careful as you prepare to restore your property after tornado damage. Wear protective gear and beware of fire hazards, contaminated water, and dangerous chemicals.
Open doors and windows to air out your home. Remove any accumulated water, dirt, mud, and broken items. Clean and sanitize hard surfaces, especially food contact surfaces, and air-dry fabrics, rugs, and upholstered furniture as needed. Running a dehumidifier can help prevent mold growth.
If the property damage is overwhelming, consider hiring a professional storm clean-up and restoration service. This type of service can also help document the damage properly for your homeowners’ insurance claim.
Need Help Dealing With Your Insurance Company?
No matter how well you prepare, tornado season can leave devastation in its wake. You might count on your insurance coverage only to discover that your insurance provider is attempting to refute or minimize your claim.
To avoid a stressful, time-consuming battle, consider hiring a public adjuster. At Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia, our professionals will ensure you receive the highest possible payout. We have a 100% customer satisfaction policy and only get paid when we successfully complete the claim adjustment. Working with our claims adjusters means zero upfront costs and zero risks for you.
Call us today at (404) 220-9366 for a free, no-obligation case assessment with one of our independent adjusters. We serve all of the Greater Atlanta area.
Copyright © 2021. Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia. All Rights Reserved.
Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia
1100 Peachtree St NE, Ste 200a
Atlanta, GA 30309