Most of us are prepared for hurricane season, but what about tornado damage? Tornado damage is common during hurricane season and it can get serious.
We’re heading toward the end of June and most of us in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are prepared or getting prepared for hurricane season, but we don’t give tornado damage much thought. We may know what hurricane damage is and how we can deal with it, but tornado damage? That’s something different.
Tornado damage must be given its due during hurricane season, because a tornado can pop up at any time during severe weather – even just your average afternoon summer thunderstorm can spin off a tornado. Any one in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina can end up having to deal with tornado damage.
So just what are we talking about with tornado damage? What kind of damage can a tornado cause? Let’s have a look.
Tornado Damage and the EF Scale
Tornadoes are ranked on a scale according to their intensity and the damage they can cause. In the United States, the scale is known as the Enhanced Fujita scale or EF scale for short. The scale is based on wind speed and goes like this:
- Wind speeds between 65 to 85 mph
- Broken branches; downed trees; chimney damage
- Wind speeds between 86 to 110 mph
- Roof damage, mobile homes pushed off foundation; vehicles pushed off the road
- Wind speeds between 111 to 135 mph
- Roofs torn off; mobile homes destroyed; trees snapped or uprooted; smaller debris turned into missiles
- Wind speeds between 136 to 165 mph
- Roofs completely torn off; walls also torn off; majority of trees uprooted, trains overturned, vehicles lifted off the ground
- Wind speeds between 166 to 200 mph
- Well-constructed houses destroyed; structures with weak foundations blown away; large debris become flying missiles
- Wind speeds greater than 200 mph
- Most structures severely damaged or destroyed, vehicles can become flying missiles
Tornado Damage for Homeowners.
Tornado damage can be minor or major depending on the strength of the tornado, but even an F-1 tornado can have major consequences for homeowners. According to the scale, an EF 1 tornado can cause:
- Roof damage
- Vehicle damage
- Downed trees
Tornado Damage Can Equal Roof Damage.
Any tornado damage is a headache for homeowners, but roof damage may be one of the costliest to repair. And even an EF-1 tornado can cause damage to a roof.
Roof damage can include damage to shingles and flashing. Tornado damage can also occur to roof structures such as vents or chimneys.
If you think you have roof damage from a tornado, contact us today for help.
Does a homeowner’s policy cover tornado damage?
Wondering if your homeowner’s insurance covers tornado damage is a good question. Most of us in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are aware of our hurricane insurance, but we don’t talk much in the Sunshine State about tornadoes.
But tornado damage is a problem in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina because tornados can pop up just about any time we have a serious thunderstorm.
So, the only way to know for sure if your homeowner’s policy will cover tornado damage is to read the policy or talk to your insurance professional.
But there are a few things to consider:
Was the tornado damage caused by wind?
Tornado damage can have several causes. So, one thing to ask yourself if you have tornado damage is was the damage caused by wind?
If you have shingles blown off your roof or a large tree blown down on your roof, it may be clear the tornado damage was caused by wind. In a case like that it should be covered under the windstorm section of your homeowner policy.
Was the tornado damage caused by flood?
Now what if the tornado damage was caused by floodwater? Even a minor tornado can produce flooding rain. Most homeowner policies don’t include flood coverage. If you aren’t sure if you have flood coverage, check with your insurance professional.
Was the tornado damage caused by Hail?
Many tornados pack a bigger punch then wind and rain. They can pack hail. Hail can be devastating for homeowners and cause major damage to your home. Hail can damage roofs, windows, trees, and outdoor structures.
Staying safe and avoiding tornado damage.
It is difficult to prepare for and prevent tornado damage because there is not a lot of warning time to prepare for a tornado. If you are under a tornado warning here are a few precautions to take immediately:
- Move to an interior room of your home such as a bathroom or closet
- Cover your head
- Continue to listen to the weather radio for updates about the location of the tornado
- If you are outside and can’t get to a shelter, find a low lying area away from trees and cars, Crouch down and cover your head and neck.
Tornado Damage Misconceptions.
There are many misconceptions about tornadoes and tornado damage. Here are a few you can dispel immediately.
Tornadoes happen only in the Midwest: FALSE. Tornadoes are usually spawned by thunderstorms. Any where there is a thunderstorm there can be a tornado.
You can see a tornado coming. FALSE. Often tornadoes cannot be seen from a distance. Make sure to stay tuned in to your local weather station for updates.
Hurricane damage is worse than tornado damage: FALSE. Even an EF1 tornado can cause damage to your roof, trees and other parts of your home.
Tornado damage in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina: Spring 2019
Just in the past two months, two tornadoes were confirmed on the East coast. They brought rain, thunder and hail to counties in February and March.
There were no injuries reported, but the tornadoes caused a tree to topple onto someone’s home, a lightning strike burned a chickee hut and there were numerous power outages across counties.
Tornado damage is serious.
If you have tornado damage and need help with your insurance claim, contact us today.