Tornadoes can uproot trees and hurl heavy objects through the air. In fact, tornadoes are classified by their intensity on the Fujita scale ranging from F0 (weakest) to F5 (strongest). To minimize damage, Foremost Insurance encourages you to prepare your home before a storm hits.
“Advance planning will help protect your belongings and, more importantly, your family,” says Mike Steele, catastrophe manager at the Grand Rapids location. “Securing items down means less debris is flying through the air, which could potentially harm your family members. In addition, make sure your insurance policy is up to date and provides enough coverage for your home and belongings.”
Inside Your Home
- Be sure your water heater and furnace are secured.
- Purchase sturdy “L-brackets” from the hardware store and use them to anchor your major appliances to the walls or countertops of your home. Watch out for electrical hazards. If necessary, hire a professional.
- Put child safety locks on all your cupboards to keep contents in.
- Use “V-hooks” to mount pictures and wall hangings instead of nails. These hooks let pictures shift without falling from the wall.
- Learn how to quickly disconnect breakers in the service box for your water, gas and electric. If there’s time, turn off these utilities before the tornado hits.
- Create a personal property inventory that lists all of your household goods and personal items before a claim occurs. If things are damaged due to a tornado, this will give your insurance company a record of what items were in your home and greatly improve the accuracy of your settlement.
Outside Your Home
- Consider replacing older windows with modern, impact-resistant glass.
- Inspect roofing material and secure any loose shingles on your roof with a black plastic roof mastic commonly found in home improvement stores or lumber yards.
- Recoat metal roofs as needed. Metal roof coating is available at lumber yards and hardware stores.
- Repair exterior siding, awnings, gutters, downspouts and brackets if loose, damaged or dangling. On a manufactured home, make sure skirting is properly vented.
- Don’t store flammable, caustic, hazardous material, newspapers or grass clippings underneath your manufactured home.
- Have a trained professional install proper tie-downs on your manufactured home and sheds.
- Keep your yard free of poles, shovels, bikes and other loose articles. These can become hazardous flying objects during severe windstorms.
Stay safe through these storm seasons. Your safety is number one to us. For peace of mind when a storm hits your home, contact a Foremost agency to talk about a home insurance policy.