800 attend the Tornado Summit

More than 800 insurance professionals, emergency managers and meteorologists learned how to better prepare for severe weather at the 2016 National Tornado Summit. The 5th annual event wrapped up Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

“It is very inspiring to witness the insurance industry, community leaders, regulators, meteorologists and emergency responders share knowledge to act in a unified effort to effectively manage disasters,” said National Tornado Summit Committee Co-Chair Chad Yearwood.

Conference attendees heard from dozens of national experts including National Weather Service (NWS) Director Dr. Louis Uccellini.

“Just making an accurate forecast is not enough,” Uccellini said. “We have to connect to those who are actually making decisions because we can’t do this alone. We have to partner with our emergency management partners at the federal, state and local levels to ensure that our forecasting models get into their plans to get the best result.”

Uccellini said the lack of fatalities at Moore Medical Center in May 2013 after it was hit by a tornado is an example of the successful partnership between NWS and the emergency management community.

“The lesson here is practice, practice, practice,” Uccellini said. “You have to be prepared for these events.”

Also during the Summit, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) launched its new FORTIFIED Home–High Wind and Hail programs. The programs are designed to help homeowners build safer, stronger new homes and retrofit or repair existing homes to make them more resistant to high winds and hailstorms.