Commissioner Causey urges storm readiness during Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey urges families to use Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which runs from March 3-9, to prepare for the potential for extreme weather this spring and hurricane season.

“With warmer weather quickly approaching, you should never underestimate the power of dangerous storms and flooding,” said Commissioner Causey. “Having an emergency plan in place and protecting your home and family with the appropriate insurance coverage is critical.” 

According to the National Weather Service, North Carolina experiences about 40 to 50 thunderstorm days per year. Severe thunderstorms can produce strong winds, heavy rain that causes flooding, damaging hail, and the possibility of tornadoes.

The annual statewide tornado drill will take place this Wednesday, March 6. Commissioner Causey recommends families learn and practice the following safety tips:

  • Know the terms: “Watch” means a tornado is possible. “Warning” means a tornado has been spotted; take shelter immediately.
  • Go to the basement or storm shelter if you have one. Avoid areas where heavy objects (like a piano or refrigerator) are on the floor above you as they could fall through the floor and injure you.  
  • If driving, you should leave your vehicle immediately to seek safety in an adequate structure. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle, and do not stop under an overpass or a bridge.

Preparation before a storm is key. North Carolinians should take inventory and document what they own. This will help insurance companies examine potential losses and assure proper coverage. In addition, individuals and families should have a storm-readiness plan in place. Families should discuss the plan so everyone knows how to respond once a storm hits.

Commissioner Causey offers the following insurance tips to help families prepare for severe weather:

  • Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies do not cover damage from floods, although most mobile homeowners’ and comprehensive auto policies do.
  • A landlord’s insurance policy likely won’t cover damage to a renter’s personal property.
  • Ask your agent about flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program takes 30 days to take effect. Waiting to take out a flood policy once a storm or hurricane is in motion will be too late. 

For more information on how to prepare before, during, and after a storm, visit

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.