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Natural Disasters Skyrocket in Arkansas; Make Sure You Are Prepared

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

The state of Arkansas, also known as the natural state, has seen an increase in natural disasters of 135% over the past 40 years. Arkansas is known for its tornadoes, but also has occasional flash floods. Arkansas is in the area of the country known as Tornado Alley. The study by Quote Wizard had found that there were 77 natural disasters from 1981 through 2021. “What we have really seen is just an increase in these natural disasters that have just been, quite frankly, shocking,” VinZant said.

Authorities are suggesting that Arkansans prepare for a new severe weather season this year. Some of the best ways to prepare is double checking that all of your items are insured. Talk with your local homeowner’s insurance provider to make sure that tornadoes and hail damage is covered. Additionally, speak with your auto insurance provider to make sure that hail damage and flooding is covered. Insurance is the best way to make sure anything that has been destroyed by a natural disaster can be replaced.

Other steps that Arkansans can take to prepare for the next tornado season is to get photocopies or legal copies of important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, homeowner’s insurance documents, health insurance documents, automobile insurance documents, social security cards, and other legal documents necessary to provide proof of identification and insurance policies. Several different means of keeping these documents should be considered such as keeping copies at a local bank deposit box. Making digital copies of these important documents and saving them on a thumb drive that can be quickly and easily taken with you in an emergency is another good idea.

In the event of severe weather such as a tornado warning, The United States Government suggests that you seek safety immediately. This can be a safe room, basement, storm shelter, or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Anyone facing a severe weather warning due to a tornado watch or warning should stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls. If you are driving in a car, do not go under an overpass or bridge. You would be safer in a low and flat location. If driving a car, do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. If driving in a car, watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death. While in a safe location use your arms to protect your head and neck.

If you are under tornado watch or warning, pay attention to weather reports. Many meteorologists can predict when a tornado might touchdown. Have a weather radio available with you in your safe location. Pay attention to EAS, NOAA weather radio, or the local alerting system for current emergency information and instructions. You should know the signs of a tornado. The signs of a tornado include a rotating funnel shaped cloud, the sound of a roar like a freight train, and a cloud of debris. Another sign of a tornado is straight line winds.

After a tornado has gone through your area be sure to keep safe. Stay clear of all fallen power lines or broken utility poles. Seek medical attention if you are sick or injured. Arkansans can request assistance here.


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