Although tornadoes are unpredictable and can happen at any time of year, they are most common during the springtime in Tennessee. The friendly folks at Farmers Mutual of Tennessee want you to stay safe. They encourage you to develop and review a safety plan with your family members and take steps to “storm-proof” your property in case powerful storms strikes your area. While these actions cannot guarantee your safety or eliminate damage, they can help you and your family be better prepared and protected.
Protecting Your Family
One of the safest places to ride out a tornado at home is in a safe room that meets the requirements of the National Storm Shelter Association. Short of building or installing a safe room, you and your family should identify the safest area of your home. This is typically an interior room without windows on the lowest level, such as a bathroom, closet or under a staircase. The more walls between you and the outside the better. Other areas within your home may include a storm cellar, crawlspace, or basement. Take advantage of any sturdy desk, table or workbench while protecting your head with your arms. By all means possible, stay away from external walls, doors, and windows. Finally, prepare an emergency kit that includes first aid supplies, flashlight, batteries, sturdy gloves, prescription medications, extra car keys, extra eyeglasses, cash and important documents such as insurance policies.
Protecting Your Property
Even with the best of homeowners insurance, it is essential to “storm-proof” your dwelling. Taking a proactive approach to protecting the house may reduce the severity of any damage that occurs as well as protect family members inside. Some examples of storm-proofing your home can include:
- Install high quality, wind-resistant roofing
- Seal roof sheathing seams
- Install wind-resistant siding
- Upgrade windows with impact-resistant glass
- Trim back or remove trees that are close to the house
In areas of the country prone to hurricane, strapping is common when connecting the roof, walls and foundation. Although not common in Tennessee, it is worth considering if you wish to increase your property’s protection.
Other considerations to stay safe:
Do not open your windows. Opening your windows will not save your house as once believed. In addition to putting yourself at risk of injury from breaking glass, you may also make the damage worse by allowing wind and rain inside.
Do not seek shelter in a mobile home. Mobile homes have light frames making them easy to overturn, even with tie-downs, and exterior walls are easily penetrated by high winds and wind-borne debris. If you live in a mobile home and do not have a storm shelter, go to a neighboring house or building. If you do not have time, lie flat and face down on low ground in an area away from trees and vehicles.
By following these suggestions, you can better protect your family and minimize damages to your property. that could result in a large insurance claim. For more information on protecting your family and property, get in touch with the team at Farmers Mutual of Tennessee. Since 1913, they have provided quality home insurance coverage throughout Tennessee at an affordable price. Their local independent agent will be happy to help you find the right coverage for your home, mobile home, rental dwelling, or farm at a price that suits your budget. Give Farmers Mutual of Tennessee a call today at (800) 824-9555, and visit them online for more information.