While Texas has already been blasted by violent weather this year, the worst may be yet to come, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. Many of the state’s deadliest and most destructive tornadoes have struck Texas during the month of May.
The deadliest tornados in Texas history struck downtown Waco on May 11, 1953 and Goliad on May 18, 1902, each claiming 114 lives. A huge tornado tore through the tiny town of Saragosa on May 22, 1987 claiming 30 lives. On May 27, 1991, 27 people lost their lives in the one of the state’s most recent F-5 tornadoes in Jarrell. And on May 11, 1970, an F-5 tornado rolled through the campus of Texas Tech and headed downtown. The tornado twisted one of the city’s largest office buildings leaving it uninhabitable and eventually claimed 26 lives.
Paul Yura, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in New Braunfels, said the month of May is ripe for more bad weather. “In Texas, the peak of severe weather season usually occurs in May. This is also the month when we usually have the most tornadoes across the state. Bottom line is that all residents of Texas should be prepared for severe weather season,” said Yura.
A homeowner insurance policy typically carries coverage protecting your home from any type of wind damage or wind-blown debris. The coverage includes not only your home but existing structures like a shed or fence. Your vehicle will be protected from wind or hail damage through the comprehensive coverage in your auto insurance policy.
Oftentimes, TV meteorologists refer to the rotation of clouds on their weather radar indicating the possibility of a tornado. “If you live nearby or in the path of one of these rotating weather
patterns, you may not experience a tornado, but there is a good chance the storm is carrying strong, damaging winds or hail and you should take cover,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas.
A Tornado Watch means conditions are ripe for a tornado to form. A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado threatens your area, you are urged to seek a safe area inside your home which has no outside walls.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers more recommendations in its brochure, Preparing for a Tornado.
As a reminder, Texas had a record number of tornadoes last year with 240 reported across the state. Overall, we had sixteen catastrophic weather events last year including tornadoes, hailstorms, fires, and floods. We hope this year is not as bad but we urge all Texans to be prepared.