Anchor Insurance Blog

Winter Storms: Have a Plan.

Posted by Anchor Insurance on Jan 25, 2017 8:20:33 AM

In the south, we tend to think of hurricane season as the timeframe when all major storms will strike. Not true. They may be less common, but winter storms, especially those forming tornadoes, can be just as deadly and destructive as summer storms. Perhaps even more devastating because we often underestimate their power and therefore are less likely to take proper precautions.  Let’s not forget these erratic, fast moving storms have the strength to uproot massive trees and take down entire housing structures.

That’s why you need a plan.  Luckily there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from winter storms.

Stay Alert to Storm Watches and Warnings

One thing that makes tornadoes so deadly is their unpredictability. Unlike hurricanes, you won’t have several days notice of a tornado’s landing. Staying aware of public tornado warnings and watches issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio is critical. Understanding the difference between the two will help you to adequately prepare and take the necessary steps.

  • Tornado watch: A tornado watch alert is issued to indicate that the current conditions favor a certain type of severe weather, for example, either a tornado or a thunderstorm.
  • Tornado warning: A tornado warning, on the other hand, is issued when a tornado funnel is shown by radar or is imminent. Since tornadoes can ensue and move very fast, there is very little time to prepare.

More often than not, local radio and TV stations will issue warnings. There are smart phone Apps such as MyRadar that will sound alerts (similar to weather radio devices) when warnings and watches are issued. You can also get Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) sent to your phone through your mobile carrier. These texts message alerts will notify you of extreme weather conditions in your area.  Keep your phone close by while sleeping so it wakes you if a late night warning is issued.

Identify Your Shelter Before You Need It

At home

If you are at home get to shelter immediately. The safest place to be is in the basement or a room in the lowest floor. If none of these options are available, get into a closet, interior hallway, or any other room without windows. For extra safety avoid corners and stay under a strong piece of furniture such as a desk or table.

Mobile home

Most mobile homes are defenseless to tornadoes. Even those with a secure tie-down system rarely sustain the powerful tornado winds. Therefore, plan ahead. If a tornado watch is issued make arrangements to stay at a friend’s. 


The last place you want to be during a tornado is inside your car. If you get a tornado warning while driving, pull over and get out of the vehicle immediately. Look for shelter in nearby homes, buildings, or low-lying area. However, take extreme caution in case of flooding.

Note: Do not try to outrun a tornado as it can instantaneously change direction and lift or toss your car in the air. 


And in the worst case scenario, if a tornado catches you outside and no shelter is available, lie in a ditch or a low spot on the ground and cover your head with your arms.

By following the above safety tips, you can protect yourself and your family.

Stability When You Need It

You can rely on Anchor Insurance for stability when you need a little (or a lot) of help. Our swift claims response and warm customer care will provide you reassurance in unsteady times. Rest easy knowing you and your home are protected by a solid insurance company that can stand the test of time.

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Topics: Storm Tips, Home Safety

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