Do I Really Need to Worry About Tornadoes in Sacramento?
Worry? No. Be prepared? Yes. It’s a good idea to make sure your homeowners insurance includes tornado coverage, just in case a damaging funnel cloud should touch down uncomfortably close to your Sacramento-area home.
First, the good news. Out of a ranking of 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, the Golden State ranks right near the bottom, at 42nd, for tornado risk (at least you don’t live in Oklahoma, the No. 1 ranked state).
The somewhat less-than-good news is that when they do occur, tornadoes are likeliest to strike in the Central Valley and areas encompassing greater Sacramento and other regions of Central California.
So yeah, it’s not unthinkable that you, as a Sacramento resident, might someday watch a twister twist out of control on your street and head right for your house.
How to Protect Home and Family Against a Tornado Threat in Sacramento
One key to staying safe is to be proactive. Sacramento residents can sign up for the city’s Emergency Alert Program. You’ll receive a severe weather alert – as well as warnings for other emergency events – by phone, text, or email.
In addition, tune in to your favorite weather app or TV channel if the sky suddenly darkens during midday and conditions seem ripe for a tornado. Take your city’s tornado warning sirens seriously, and get to a safe space in your house. This is likely to be a basement or an interior room where there are no windows. Make sure every family member knows where to meet at home.
If you have time before the tornado strikes, remove lawn furniture and other outdoor items that might turn into launched missiles under strong winds, damaging your own residence or those of neighbors.
Tornado touchdown is not the time to worry about the damage caused to your home. Protect yourself and your loved ones first. When the storm watch has lifted, that’s the time to get out and assess the damage. Take plenty of photos of areas of concern, and then contact your homeowners insurance broker or claims hotline. Your insurer will be able to tell you how to file a claim.
How Dangerous Are Tornadoes Anyhow?
The risk factor can vary greatly. While some funnel clouds have a range of a few feet, others can be a mile wide. That’s why people can report losing a huge front yard tree to a tornado while their home goes unscathed. Or one house in a block is destroyed, while the next-door neighbor’s (separated only by a driveway) is not touched.
They can also vary greatly in strength. A weak EF0 twister has winds of as little as 65 miles an hour. On the other hand, the strongest tornado, an EF5, has wind strength of more than 200 miles an hour. California is prone to weaker tornadoes when they do hit.
The deadliest U.S. tornado on record touched down in the tri-state area of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri in March of 1925 (695 lives were lost). In more recent times, lives were also lost during a 2011 tornado that struck Joplin, MO. Fortunately, for California residents, it’s a different story here. We might have all kinds of natural disaster challenges on our hands with wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides, flooding, and droughts, but our relatively few tornadoes have not turned deadly in modern times.
In fact, since at least 1950, there have been no deaths reported as a result of California tornadoes. Nonetheless, they can certainly cause damage to your Sacramento home if all your stars refuse to align.
What Financial Protection Will My Home Insurance Offer in the Event of a Sacramento Tornado?
Your home insurance policy should be able to help you in at least two critical ways. First, it will pay for the repair or replacement of all personal items damaged or destroyed by the high winds and water damage. Plus, it pays for the repair of damaged infrastructure, including the roof, walls, windows, and other structurally damaged areas.
Secondly, your policy will likely offer temporary housing benefits while your damaged home is being repaired or rebuilt. This means that, once your deductible is satisfied, your insurance claim will cover everything from putting your family up in a hotel or other temporary accommodations, eating at a restaurant and shopping for groceries to the cost of doing your clothes at a laundromat. This could cost you thousands of dollars if you had to pay for it out of your own pocket.
If you already have a homeowners insurance policy, this is a good time to take it out of storage and review it. See what it covers (and doesn’t). Call your agent if you have any questions or would like to receive a quote to upgrade your coverage.
If you’re looking to buy a new home in Sacramento, reach out to an independent homeowners insurance agent for assistance in this important area of concern.
Agents who work for just one company can only sell you the coverage that their employer provides. An independent home insurance agent, on the other hand, has contractual relationships with multiple major insurers. This means they can shop around for the most competitive rates on the best coverage option for you and your family.
Your independent insurance agent can also get you quotes for low-cost insurance based on assuming various deductible levels and coverage limits. Crunch the numbers until you find affordable rates for coverage that leaves you feeling financially secure in case of a tornado or any other unexpected Sacramento event.
Find Affordable Home Insurance in Sacramento Today
Stay safe and financially secure. Call Cost-U-Less at (800) 390-4071 to learn more about how we can protect your Sacramento home from unexpected damage due to natural disasters. Or get a quick quote online. You can also find a Cost-U-Less California location near you to meet personally with an independent agent.