How to Prepare for a Tornado

As Oklahomans, we live in tornado alley, and as storm season approaches, it’s critical to know how to prepare. Tornadoes can occur suddenly and they can be destructive, so knowing how to prepare and what to do can help you and your loved ones stay safe. As tornado season begins, consider these ways when creating your safety-preparedness plan.

Set and Inform Your Plan

To ensure you and your family are safe, you can create a “what to do if a tornado hits” plan. This plan could include where to take shelter, who is responsible for gathering food and supplies, where to locate the radio and batteries and more. If you’re unsure about the security of your home, you may consider adding a storm shelter. Having your household on the same page can help ensure you react in a timely manner. 

Carl looking at tornado damage done on his farm

Create a Checklist and Store Necessities 

Creating a checklist and storing some basic items can help you stay on track and not forget any critical items. Be sure to include: 

  • Batteries
  • Weather radio
  • Cell phone charger
  • Flashlight
  • Food
  • A fun game or coloring pages to keep the little ones or even yourself entertained

Know the Warning Signs

Luckily, we have the technology and the National Weather Service to warn us if a tornado is developing and headed our way. However, it is always good to know the warning signs if there is a chance of a tornado. 

  • Hail or heavy rain followed by fast and intense winds or followed by eerie quiet and calm 
  • Loud rumbling that could sound like thunder, but is continuous. Some describe it as sounding like a freight train
  • If the sky begins to look dark and green
  • A cloud of debris, even if it doesn’t resemble a funnel
  • A funnel-shaped cloud

“I stepped outside before the tornado actually got there, and I could hear it coming but couldn’t tell how far away it was. Well, of course it went right through, real fast. After it settled down, I peeped outside the window and walked outside, and saw the cars were crushed,” said Billy Gibson, one of our policyholders. Watch how OKFB helped Billy after a tornado hit his home.

Learn the Weather Terms

Two notable terms to know are tornado watch and tornado warning. A tornado watch signifies that the current weather is capable of producing a tornado. While a tornado warning signifies that one has been sighted or seen on a radar. If a tornado warning is issued, you are highly advised to seek shelter. Understanding this difference can help you know what to do. 

As you create plans and checklists, remember to check-in with your OKFB agent to ensure your home and vehicles are protected under your Home Insurance and Auto Insurance policies. You focus on staying safe and prepared, and we’ll worry about protecting your assets. 

Defining Insurance Jargon

Insurance has your back by ensuring your assets are covered, but insurance jargon can often get in the way of you clearly understanding your policy. To help make sense of your insurance policy, here are 10 common insurance terms that could help when both reviewing policies or speaking with your agent.  

Line(s) of Insurance: A class of type of insurance e.g. home insurance, auto insurance, commercial insurance, etc. 

  • Example: Charles has two lines of insurance with OKFB: Auto Insurance and Farm & Ranch Insurance.

Deductible: A specified amount of money that a policyholder must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim. 

  • Example: Esther has to pay a deductible of $300. After she pays her deductible, OKFB will pay the remainder of the claim that is stated in her policy.

Claim: A request or demand for payment from an insurance carrier, as defined in the policy.

  • Example: Carl and Robert filed a claim after a tornado impacted their car and farm. See how Billy and the rest of our team immediately worked to fulfill it here.

Coverage: The extent an item or property is insured in the event of an accident. 

  • Example: Daniel got a full coverage auto insurance policy with OKFB, so he is covered in the event that he is in an accident. 

Umbrella Coverage: Provides higher limits of protection against bodily injury or property damage claims by a third party. 

  • Example: After careful consideration, Anthony decided that umbrella coverage would offer greater protection and peace of mind.

Risk: The chances a loss could potentially occur. 

  • Example: Christie carefully explained the risks associated with lower coverage insurance policies, so I opted for more coverage. 

Policy: The contract between a policyholder and insurance carrier. 

  • Example: Lauren has an auto insurance policy with OKFB Insurance, so OKFB insures her vehicle in the case of an accident.

Premium: Cost an insurer sets for the coverage listed in an insurance policy.  

  • Example: Marco’s premium for his homeowner insurance is $1,200, so he pays $100 every month. 

Quote: An estimate of premium for a specific line of insurance/policy. 

  • Example: Ashley just bought a new home and was looking for the best coverage on Home Insurance, so she used OKFB’s Instant Homeowners Quote to find OKFB’s prices.

Dwelling: A place of residence, e.g. a home, mobile home, etc. 

  • Example: After talking to my agent, I got Dwelling Fire Insurance on my vacation home in Broken Bow. 

Check out our glossary for more common insurance terms. If you have any questions or want further clarification about an insurance term contact your OKFB agent. Also, don’t forget to check in regularly with your agent to ensure your coverage is up to date. We’re here to help you through the unexpected.

OKFB Discounts All In One Place

Does OKFB offer discounts? What types of discounts does OKFB offer? Do I qualify for any discounts with OKFB? This is the blog you’ve been looking for! We have compiled the array of discounts we offer across our lines of Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Recreation Insurance, Farm & Ranch Insurance, Commercial Insurance and more. Contact your agent to see which discounts you are eligible for!

Auto Insurance Discounts  

We offer five discounts under our auto policy. You may be eligible for a discount if you have more than one policy with us, multiple vehicles and more! Keep reading to see where you may qualify. 

  • Scholastic Discount
  • Defensive Driving Discount 
  • Driver Longevity Credit 
  • Multi-Vehicle Discount
  • Companion Discount 

Home Insurance Discounts

Is your home less than 10 years old? Do you have an alarm system installed? If so, these are just a few ways you could qualify for a Home Insurance discount. Keep reading to see if you qualify for other Home Insurance discounts.   

  • New Home Discount
  • Burglary or Fire Alarm Discount 
  • Claims-Free Discounts
  • Companion Auto Discount
  • Approved Roof Discount
  • Tie Down Credit

Farm & Ranch Insurance Discounts

We offer discounts for our Farm & Ranch Insurance, as well as for those that may have a Farm Auto, Farm Fire or Farm Renters policy. Keep reading to learn more!

Farm & Ranch 

  • New Home Discount
  • Burglary or Fire Alarm Discount 
  • Companion Auto Discount
  • Approved Roof Discount

Farm Auto 

  • Defensive Driving Discount
  • Scholastic Discount
  • Companion Home Discount
  • Multi-Vehicle Discount
  • Companion Umbrella Discount
  • Approved Grill Guard

Commercial Insurance Discounts

We offer discounts to help out small businesses! If you are a Dwelling Fire – Tenant Occupied policyholder then check this out. You may be eligible for these discounts. 

Dwelling Fire – Tenant Occupied

  • Approved Roof Discount

Discount Eligibility

  • Approved Grill Guard: Trucks with a qualifying grill guard may qualify for a discount on collision coverage.
  • Approved Roof Discount: If you have a U.L rate class 3 or 4 roof surfacing installed, you may be eligible for a discount. Check here for a list of approved roof surfacing.
  • Burglary or Fire Alarm Discount: If you have an alarm system or fire alarm in your home, you may be eligible for a discount based on the type of alarm you have installed. 
  • Claims-Free Discounts: If you have had no insurance claims on your OKFB Homeowners insurance policy for the last three years, you may be eligible.
  • Companion Auto Discount: If you also have an auto policy with OKFB, you may be eligible. 
  • Companion Discount: If you also have other policies through OKFB, such as a Homeowners or Farm & Ranch, you may be eligible for companion discounts. 
  • Companion Home Discount: Policyholder has an active owner occupied property policy with the company. 
  • Companion Umbrella Discount: Policyholder has an active or farm umbrella policy with the company. 
  • Defensive Driving Discount: May be eligible for those who complete a minimum six hour accident prevention course approved by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. Approved courses are often offered through your county Farm Bureau. 
  • Driver Longevity Credit: Drivers who have been insured with OKFB for at least one year may receive premium credit based on a combination of their longevity with OKFB and driving record. 
  • Multi-Vehicle Discount: A multi-vehicle discount may apply when two or more vehicles are insured with OKFB.
  • New Home Discount: If your home is 10 years old or less, you may be eligible for a discount.
  • Scholastic Discount: This discount applies to specific auto coverages for classroom academic excellence to eligible full-time students who meet specified requirements.
  • Tie Down Credit: If your mobile home uses approved tie downs to better secure your home, you may be eligible for this discount. 

If you have any questions or want to learn more about eligibility and discounts contact your OKFB agent. Remember, we’re your partners in life and are here to help during any situation!

6 Ways to Prepare for an Ice Storm

Snow and ice can be a pretty sight in small doses, but Oklahoma is no stranger to heavy ice storms. You can help ensure minimal impacts to your property by following these six ways to prepare for an ice storm. Check out these tips:

1. Prepare an Emergency Home Kit

Severe ice storms can cause road closures as well as city-wide power outages, thus leaving you situated in your home for a potential long period of time. It could be helpful to have an emergency home kit with the necessities that could include things like:

  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Candles 
  • Canned goods and no-cook foods/snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Medication and first aid kit 
  • Blankets
  • Warm winter clothing and accessories
  • Emergency radio 

2. Have Tools on Standby

Too much ice or snow could trap you inside your home, so having a crowbar, axe, chiseling tool or shovel could aid in making a path to escape. Additionally, having tools nearby could be helpful for making any quick repairs. For instance, closing a small hole to stop the cold from filling your home. Remember to stay warm or find shelter if the damages are dangerous. 

3. Check on Pipes & Gutters 

As fall winds down and winter begins, take time to clear out rain gutters, repair roof leaks, and check the roof to make sure it can handle the extra weight of snow and ice. You’ll also need to insulate water pipes or faucets with winter covers on the exterior of the home. Allowing faucets to drip or trickle during cold weather or if the power/heat are out can also help avoid freezing pipes. When water freezes, it expands, and this can cause water pipes to burst. Know how and where to shut off water valves if a pipe bursts.

4. Watch Out for Trees

Trees lose limbs and leaves annually, and they also grow wider and bigger annually. Thus it is important to inspect trees before winter and to remove any branches that could fall on a house, powerline, car or other structure. After the storm, it’s also important to be careful around trees. Ice can accumulate and cause limbs to snap and fall down. For your safety, watch out for trees when walking around the property or shoveling ice out of the driveway.

5. Be Mindful About Carbon Monoxide 

Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous and there can be a heightened possibility for it after an ice storm. You’ll need to check and clear out the areas where your furnace and other vents are located, in case ice or snow start to block the vents. If the power does go out, remember to turn off anything that runs on gas or propane. To receive an early warning if carbon monoxide does become present, install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in the home. 

6. Save Water, Then More Water

One way to save water is by filling bathtubs, sinks and kitchen pots with water before the power goes out. Water is necessary for staying hydrated, and it can also help you operate your home in many other ways. It could give a toilet enough pressure to flush and even for hygienic purposes such as brushing your teeth and cleaning. 

As you take steps to prepare your home for an ice storm this winter, remember to contact your OKFB Insurance agent and review your Home Insurance policy. Insurance claims are an important part of recovering from storm damage. Review your homeowners, renters, or business insurance policies to ensure you have appropriate coverage for your property and personal belongings. Photograph and inventory your property to assist with post-disaster claims.