A tornado is a localized and violently destructive windstorm occurring over land characterized by a funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground.

Reacting to a tornado is pretty straight-forward. Stay off the roads but if you are caught on the road with a funnel cloud descending then get out of your car and lay down in a ditch. If there is not a ditch find a depression in the ground. The tornado is more likely to pass over you this way.

If you are in your home then you want to get into the basement. Try to be close but not right beside a window in case of collapse of the house, you need an exit. Listen to your emergency channel and you will be instructed as to what you should be doing.

If you are struck by a tornado and suffer damage then the insurance answer is yes. Tornado is wind damage and this is a named peril even though an Act of God which can be covered under your insurance policy.

We see the horrendous effect of a tornado on the local news. If you have ever experienced a tornado, the sound of a freight train in the sky is something you will never forget. The air pressure changes and if you are in the path of the funnel when it touches down then hopefully you will survive.

After the tornado has struck be aware that emergency crews are trying to reach people. This is not a good time to be on the roads unless you are participating in aid efforts. Keep your radio on and stay posted as to what you should be doing.

If you do have a claim to report then contact your insurance company, agent or broker. Do not remove debris completely. Stack it to one side and do what you can to reduce the effect of your damage.