Tornado Safety Tips: A Checklist for Tornado Season

A tornado can strike at any time, so it’s important to prepare before one hits. As we roll into tornado season, it is always a good idea to be weather aware. In this blog, we provide a tornado safety checklist that you and your family can reference. This checklist will help you stay safe and knowledgeable during a tornado watch or warning.

Do You Know the Difference?

The first thing to know when preparing your family and home for the tornado season is the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. If a tornado watch is in the area, it means a tornado is possible and to stay alert and ready to head to safety when needed. A tornado warning means one has already been spotted or is in the process of forming and getting to safety immediately is strongly recommended.

Tornado Safety Checklist:

There are many actions you can take to prepare for a tornado. First, take some time with your family to discuss an emergency plan and consider adding the following steps:

  • Stay tuned in to the local news or weather radio station for tornado watches and warnings.
  • Know the best places to take shelter during a tornado. Usually, the best place is in a basement or an interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building away from windows.
  • Find a local emergency shelter and make sure to know the best routes to get there safely.
  • If you are in a mobile home or vehicle, get out immediately and find shelter in a nearby building. Do not try to outrun a tornado in a car.
  • Cover yourself with something like a mattress or blanket to protect yourself from flying debris.
  • If you are outside, find a ditch or low-lying area and lie down in it, covering your head with your hands.

What Should You Do After a Tornado?

When the tornado has passed and your family is able to safely leave shelter, ensure to follow up with local authorities on the best route to get home. There could be severe damage to surrounding areas and different roads could be blocked. Continue to tune in to local news and weather radio for further guidance.

By following these tornado safety tips, you can help keep yourself and your family safe during a tornado.

As the severe weather season approaches, consider getting in touch with your local OKFB Insurance agent to ensure you have the coverage you need.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media! This type of information and more is just a click away. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Your protection is our top priority. Stay safe Oklahoma!

6 Best Storm Season Safety Hacks

Oklahomans know that storm season is no joke. Even mild storms can often lead to long power outages and even cause damage to your home. Stocking up on batteries and snacks are must-dos, but here are some next-level storm season safety hacks that will help with maintaining some normalcy and keeping your family safe if you’re affected by Oklahoma’s notorious spring weather. 

  1. Turn a can of cooking oil into a candle in an emergency. First, place a string or piece of cotton into the middle of a can of cooking oil. Then, all you have to do is light it! This trick also works with lard. (Be careful!)
  2. Keep cool without air conditioning. It can be a good idea in the summer to fill up empty two-liters with water and keep them in the freezer. If the power goes out, place one frozen two-liter in front of a battery-operated fan and sit directly in front of it for a DIY air conditioner.
  3. Dogs and thunderstorms are sometimes not a good mix, but it might not be for the reason you think! Static electricity can build up in their fur. Rub a dryer sheet over your dog’s fur to help alleviate the static and calm him or her down.
  4. Run out of AA batteries for flashlights or other electronics? There is a way to convert AAA batteries with a ball of foil. Try inserting a ball of foil between the negative end of the AAA battery and the device to generate power.
  5. In a pinch, the washer and dryer serve as good storage spaces for valuables in case of flooding.
  6. Make a milk jug lantern. First, simply remove the label from a milk jug and fill it with water. Then, strap a headlight onto the jug with the light facing inward. The jug will create a soft light that will illuminate the room.

While storms can sometimes catch us off guard, it’s a good idea to plan ahead when possible. Before a storm rolls in, check out our storm prep checklist:

  • Charge up phones and electronics.
  • Check the sump pump, and make sure it’s working properly in case of flooding.
  • Clear the gutters. See if there is a way to keep water from flowing down the side of your home and causing damage. 
  • Trim your trees. This could help ensure your home and vehicles will not be damaged by falling branches.
  • Secure outdoor furniture. Oklahoma winds are strong enough to blow away or damage unsecured furniture, grills and playground equipment.
  • Fill up the gas tank. This way you and your loved ones can move to a safer location if needed.
  • Check the emergency kit. Then, replenish any missing supplies and important medications.  
  • Purchase a hand crank emergency radio. This could come in handy and keep you informed if the power goes out. 

In addition to these storm season hacks, don’t forget to read up on a few storm season safety tips and additional ways to prepare for a tornado. Along with staying safe, remember to contact your local OKFB agent to talk through your coverage in the case of a tornado or severe weather. We have agents in all 77 counties and ready to help whenever, wherever. See how one of our agents, Billy Gibson, took care of Carl Holmes and his other policyholders when a tornado went through this town three years ago. 

Stay safe, Oklahoma!

3 Ways to Show You Care

Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to show your loved ones how much you care. This year, don’t just get flowers and chocolates. One gift that can truly last is insurance. It may not be as romantic as a dozen roses, but it can provide protection for life. 

  1. Protect Your Valuables

Home is where you usually feel safest and where you keep your most prized possessions. Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, both insurance lines offer personal property coverage. Personal property coverage covers personal belongings inside a home in the event of damages or theft that may not be covered under a general Homeowners or Renters Insurance line. 

Personal property coverage can provide a sense of security and help in recuperating valuables. Reach out to your local OKFB Agent and see if the jewelry you have or are planning to give for Valentine’s Day is covered.

  1. Travel With Confidence

Planning a weekend getaway for the weekend of love? Whether you’re fishing at the lake, racing ATVs or cruising Route 66 in an RV, one way to protect your loved ones from the unexpected is with Recreational Insurance. We offer a wide range of coverage options that could help you when making new memories wherever your travels take you. 

  1. Support Your Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that small businesses have to expect the unexpected and adapt quickly. Many Oklahoma businesses have suffered from lost revenue, staffing shortages or have had to close their doors completely. One way to show you care for your employees is to give the gift of insurance. Our fully-customizable Business Owners Insurance includes Loss of Income coverage that could help cover a loss of net income due to suspension of operations and help pay for continuing payroll expenses. 

BONUS – How We Care: Drive with Peace of Mind

One auto-related gift to offer a loved one, and no, we’re not talking about buying a car, is Roadside Rescue. As an OKFB member or policyholder, we give you the gift of Roadside Rescue. This is a free service that provides 24/7 assistance wherever you or your loved one is nationwide. Enjoy the gift of traveling with confidence and peace of mind wherever and whenever this Valentine’s Day.

Insurance coverage is a great way to show you care and to provide loved ones with protection and safety. Reach out to your local OKFB Insurance agent if you have questions about your existing plan or purchasing a new one. We’re here to help!

3 Things to Do if Your Car Breaks Down

Imagine your car breaks down. On the highway. At 1 a.m. In the middle of winter. 

It sounds like a scene straight out of a horror movie, but experiencing a breakdown could happen to most of us at some point in our lives. We’ve all heard the saying, “hope for the best, plan for the worst.” While you can’t always prevent a breakdown, you can be prepared for one. 

Here are three tips to help you prepare for a breakdown:

1. Know How to Stay Safe

If you’re driving back to the hotel after an evening dinner, and there’s an issue with the car, there are a few things you could do to stay safe. If you’re able, pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights to stay visible. Also, put on the parking brake and turn the wheel away from the road to avoid rolling into traffic. If you’re in fast-moving traffic, it could be better to stay in the vehicle until help arrives. 

2. Have a Kit For Break Down

Stay prepared and stay safe by keeping these items in the trunk at all times, no matter the weather:

  • Mobile phone charging device
  • First-aid kit
  • Road atlas
  • Flashlight
  • High-visibility vest
  • Warning triangle
  • Carjack
  • Tow rope
  • Spare tire
  • Water bottles
  • Granola bars

3. Contact OKFB’s Roadside Rescue Team

If you’re an OKFB Insurance policyholder or OKFB member, remember to keep your Roadside Rescue card with you and have this number saved in your phone: 833-957-OKFB (6532). If your vehicle breaks down, the OKFB Roadside Rescue service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Enjoy the variety of services, including towing, flat tire assistance, battery jump start service, unlock service and more. 

Your safety is our top priority and if you’re in need of help, we will be there every step of the way.