Throughout the year various types of weather affect our daily lives. Builders Mutual Insurance Company has compiled the following information so our policyholders will be aware of how to respond in any weather situation.
The information contained on this page was obtained from the Red Cross Website. For more comprehensive information on natural disasters and how to deal with them search the Red Cross Website.
For Bulders Mutual claims reporting, visit our Claims Center.
A winter storm can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to blizzard conditions with blinding snow that can last several days. Some winter storms are very large and affect several states. Others, however, may affect only one community.
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes have winds of 250 miles per hour or more. They can cause extreme destruction, including uprooting trees and well-made structures, and turning normally harmless objects into deadly missiles. Most tornadoes are just a few dozen yards wide and only briefly touch down. However, highly destructive violent tornadoes may carve paths over a mile wide and more than 50 miles long.
Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms in warm, moist, unstable air along and ahead of cold fronts. Such thunderstorms also may generate large hail and damaging winds. Tropical storms and hurricanes that come on shore also generate tornadoes.
Thunderstorms are considered severe if they produce hail at least three-quarters of an inch in diameter, have winds of 58 miles per hour or higher, or if they produce tornadoes.
Thunderstorms may occur individually, in clusters, or in lines. During a thunderstorm, lightning is a huge threat. Lightening produces the thunder in a thunderstorm and is very unpredictable, which increases the risk to individuals and property
Hurricanes are cyclones that form over warm tropical oceans and sustain winds greater than 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes are capable of producing dangerous winds, torrential rains and flooding. Inland flooding is a common occurrence during hurricanes and torrential rains from weakening hurricanes can lead to extensive land and river flooding.
Floods occur in known floodplains during a period of prolonged rainfall, intense rainfall over a short period of time, or when ice or debris cause a river or stream to overflow and flood the land around it.
Flash floods happen within six hours of a heavy rain or after a dam or levee failure. Rarely is there warning of these floods.
Several different factors contribute to flooding. Two elements are the intensity and duration of rainfall. Most flash flooding is caused by thunderstorms that move slowly or repeatedly over the same area. They can also be caused by heavy rain from hurricanes and tropical storms. Floods, on the other hand, can rise slowly or quickly; however, they usually develop over a period of hours or days.
No matter how a flood occurs, the rule for safety is to head for higher ground and stay away from flood waters. Do not try to walk, swim or drive through flood waters.