Welcome to Spring…Tornado Season


Damage from a tornado in Adairsville, Georgia 2013, with a Crawford adjuster on site.

Welcome to spring! While the season hasn’t quite made an appearance in all parts of country yet, in some areas of the U.S. the air is warmer, grass is green, flowers are blooming, birds are singing…and tornadoes will probably be spawning.

Many people may not associate this gentle season of milder weather with violent, damaging wind storms, but years of research have shown that the United States has the highest incidence of tornadoes worldwide, with more than 1,000 occurring every year, and many of those tornadoes occur in the spring.

Tornado seasons vary in different parts of the United States, but generally they can start early in the year and continue until the end of summer.

In the Southeast, the peak season for tornadoes is February through April—late winter and early spring. In the northern Plains, Midwest, and Ohio Valley, tornadoes are most likely to develop from April through August— from early spring through summer.

Given the unpredictability of spring weather, it is always a good idea to pay attention when the weather report says that storms are coming into your area. What may seem to be a typical thunderstorm has the potential to escalate into something far more serious. Keep updated on local weather reports; they can provide fairly precise information on the probability of tornadoes generating in specific areas.

Be prepared for a tornado with a family disaster plan, and know where you and your family should seek shelter if you’re threatened. While warning and preparation can help save lives, they can’t do anything to hinder the random, unstoppable destructive force of a cyclone. Given the extremely variable temperatures this season in many parts of the country—70-degree weather followed the next day by a 40-degree drop in temperature—it is not surprising that tornados have already begun striking.

First responders following a tornado strike include the police and fire departments, ambulances, utility workers for disrupted power and gas lines, and….insurance adjusters. Insurers often email policyholders in affected areas to let them know how to file claims as soon as possible, and consequently adjusters try to reach the scene of the tornado damage as quickly as is practical.  Crawford helps manage the effects of tornadoes through its Catastrophe Services (CAT), one of the insurance industry’s leading independent adjusting resource for claims management in response to natural (and man-made) disasters, and also its Global Technical Services®  business, which operates focuses on large or complex insurance losses. If you’d like to know about what these services include then read more here.

Enjoy spring, but pay attention to the weather.

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