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Five tips to help protect your people, property and business income from tornadoes

At a glance

  • Tornadoes are among the most destructive, costly and unpredictable natural hazards
  • Unlike hurricanes, which can be tracked days ahead of making landfall, tornadoes can appear suddenly providing little or no advance warning
  • Despite the power of these natural hazards, there remain many steps that businesses can take to help protect people, property and business income

Tornadoes are among the most destructive, costly and unpredictable natural hazards. Unlike hurricanes, which can be tracked days ahead of making landfall, tornadoes can appear suddenly providing little or no advance warning. It means people and businesses have to be prepared, vigilant and respond rapidly if a tornado is sighted or warning issued.

A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes occur on every continent but are most prevalent in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, Western Russia and, in particular, the U.S.

About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. every year mostly on Great Plains in the central states*. This area known as Tornado Alley is an ideal environment for the formation of tornado-forming thunderstorms as dry cold air moving south from Canada meets warm moist air traveling north from the Gulf of Mexico.

Tornadoes can form at any time of year, but in the U.S. they commonly occur in the spring and summer months. In southern states, peak tornado occurrence is April and May, while peak months in northern states are during the summer.

Despite the power of these natural hazards, there remain many steps that businesses can take to help protect people, property and business income.

 

Insurance

Most property insurance policies provide insurance protection for tornado damage to both business and personal property. These policies also may cover costs to remove, clean up and dispose of debris after a tornado. Business Interruption and Extra Expense insurance should also be considered as they cover lost business profits and the additional expenses to keep a business running while insured property is being restored or replaced.

Even if a company is not damaged by a tornado, its business still may be disrupted if suppliers are damaged and unable to deliver goods to the company, or customers are damaged and are unable to receive goods. Contingent Business Interruption coverage can provide insurance protection for this scenario.

* Source: The National Severe Storms Laboratory
Image © Getty

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