I recently blogged about predictions for a lighter storm season this year in the southern United States. It is a good thing I closed by saying “don’t get too excited about this prediction.” On the heels of that blog tornadoes hit the Moore, Oklahoma area again on the evening of March 25, 2015. Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 25 counties affected by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds.1
Regular readers of this blog will recall that my colleague, Larry Bache, and I are already actively assisting policyholders in Moore and surrounding areas from devastating storms there in 2013. Although not as devastating to life and limb as the 2013 storms, there were still reports of 26 injuries and one death statewide from the storms last week.2
Close Call For The Writer
As fate would have it, last week I was in Davis and Oklahoma City meeting with policyholders with claims from the 2013 storms. On Wednesday afternoon, the folks I was with in Davis told me to “get to the airport and get out of here.” The tornadoes hit as I waited at the OKC Airport. All power was lost, we all waited in the airport’s underground storm shelter for quite some time, and several hours later flights resumed. I am lucky and grateful that such preparations are in place.
A National Weather Service survey team worked throughout last week to determine exactly how many tornadoes struck the Oklahoma City metro area. Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist at the Norman office, said that process was complicated by Wednesday’s storm bringing hurricane-force straight-line winds to areas that didn’t see tornadoes.
“It’s going to be a messy situation,” Smith said. “This was a big storm with brief tornado circulations. We may find multiple tornado paths where a tornado could have come down for just seconds.”3
What Does This Mean For Me?
Governor Fallin praised area residents for their preparedness and quick response.4 Although pictures like the one above show there was tremendous damage, by any measure, the situation could have been much worse. This remains as good a time as any for policyholders to take a look at themselves and address how prepared you are if disaster strikes. In addition to the other items on your checklist: read your policy, have pictures of your property and contents saved offsite, and keep that checklist handy for who-to-call and where-to-go if you find yourself facing a storm.
Motivational Poster Of The Day
4 After being there and benefitting from the preparedness and response, I join in the praise!