OKLAHOMA – Located in the heart of tornado alley, Oklahoma typically has between 51 to 66 tornadoes per year according to The Weather Channel. Considering the state’s history with devastating tornadoes, longtime residents know how important it is to prepare and have a plan.
“The unpredictable nature of tornadoes in Oklahoma is a threat we face every year,” said Gary Buckner, executive vice president and general manager of Oklahoma Farm Bureau (OKFB) Insurance. “While we unfortunately cannot prevent tornadoes from happening in our communities, we can ensure our policyholders and their livelihoods are protected.”
To help keep you and your loved ones safe, OKFB Insurance is debunking common misconceptions regarding tornado safety and sharing safer areas to seek shelter.
Myth #1: Shelter below an underpass. According to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Phil Warren, seeking shelter under an overpass is not only unsafe but can even increase your risk of harm. “Winds will actually funnel under the bridge and accelerate, which can cause [a] car to be pulled out,” said Warren. “Debris is another concern as the tornado can slam cars and other objects underneath bridges.” If you happen to be caught on a highway when a tornado is approaching, one of the best places to seek shelter is in a nearby ditch.
Myth #2: Shelter near rivers, lakes and mountains. Many believe that sheltering in areas near rivers, lakes and mountains during a tornado is safe. However, tornadoes can travel up mountains and cross rivers and lakes, so bodies of water and mountain ranges are not the best places to seek refuge.
Myth #3: Shelter in the southwest corner of a basement. Another common misconception regarding where to shelter during a tornado is to go in the southwest corner of a basement. Many claim that this is the safest location in a house. However, one of the safest places to take shelter in a house is typically in an interior room or bathtub, on the lowest floor of a home or building, and as far away from any exterior walls and windows as possible.
Planning for the unexpected during tornado season can help ensure your family and loved ones are protected and safe. Another way to prepare is to check in with your insurance agent to discuss your coverage for your home, auto, farm & ranch, business and other assets. This could help provide peace of mind in an already stressful situation.
About Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance
Since 1946, OKFB Insurance has worked to protect Oklahomans from the risks they face every day, whether it be home, auto, life, commercial or farm & ranch. With agents in all 77 counties, we are ready to serve our neighbors at a moment’s notice and are committed to helping our 140,000+ member families to insure their future. To learn more, visit http://www.okfbinsurance.com.