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AAA: Tornadoes strike quickly, be prepared

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Mon, Jul 24th 2017 11:50 am
AAA WCNY processing claims following last week's tornadoes in WNY
Editorial by AAA of Western and Central New York
Tornadoes are among the most devastating of all natural disasters, appearing suddenly and creating destruction in a matter of minutes.
AAA of Western and Central New York came to the aid of 10 members at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg on Thursday after a tornado touched down leaving cars damaged.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. is the most tornado-prone country in the world, with about 1,000 tornadoes touching down each year. Large hail, which may precede or follow a tornado, can also be a threat, causing injuries and property damage.
Homeowners' insurance coverage for tornado damage varies from state to state. Vehicle damage or loss may be covered by the comprehensive coverage of an automobile policy.
"While meteorologists can predict tornadoes in a limited way, they cannot identify exactly where a funnel cloud might strike," said David Hodge, AAA WCNY vice president of insurance. "Therefore, it's important to be prepared. AAA has some tips that can help families stay safe when a tornado hits."
AAA suggests several steps you can take to protect yourself and your family in anticipation of a tornado.
AAA Checklist for Tornado Preparedness
•Keep emergency and first aid kits available. These should include a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, extra batteries, and a three-day supply of food and water.
•Keep cell phones charged and have a portable charger handy in case the power goes out.
•Prepare a family emergency plan that outlines what each family member will do, how they will get to a safe place, and how they will get in touch with each other. Identify an out-of-state contact for everyone to call in case local communications are disrupted.
•Learn your children's school disaster dismissal policy.
•Identify a safe shelter area in your home, away from windows. Choose the interior part of a basement, or an inside room, such as a closet, bathroom or center hallway, on the lowest floor.
•Practice your shelter-in-a-safe-place plan with your family.
•Know where your utility switches are located and how to turn off the gas, water and electricity.
If you have questions about tornado-related coverage, call AAA to speak to a AAA insurance representative.
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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