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Staying safe in the tornado season

By Mike Wheatley | April 11, 2016

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), approximately 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. each year. Insurance provider GEICO offers a few important tips to help you protect yourself, your family and your belongings:

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  • Put together a disaster supply kit – Gather important supplies such as battery-powered flashlights and radios, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, personal hygiene products, and a spare change of clothes. Also consider specialty items for children, elderly and pets.
  • Build an emergency communication and evacuation plan – Pick a safe place to meet in the event that your family is separated during a storm. Determine how you will get in touch with loved ones to let them know you are safe.
  • Designate a safe room within your home – Select a place in your home where you and your family will be most safe during a storm. The basement or an interior room on the main level typically provides the best protection against severe weather.
  • Stock up on food and water – Always keep a supply of non-perishable food and water to last each family member at least a week. One gallon of water per person, per day is the suggested amount. Also make sure you have access to a manual can opener and other important utensils you may need.
  • Store important documents in a safe location – Consider investing in a safe box to store your important documents, photos and other valuables.
  • Create a home inventory – Keep an up-to-date inventory of all items in your home. Include photos of valuables such as electronics and jewelry. This may help speed up the claims process if damage occurs as a result of the storm.
  • Review your insurance coverage – Contact your insurance carrier to find out if you're fully protected. Use your home inventory to help determine if you have purchased enough insurance.
  • Pay attention to weather alerts – Be aware of weather alerts and updates. In the event that a tornado watch or tornado warning is issued, seek shelter immediately and follow any official instructions from local or national officials.
Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected]
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