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Thursday, March 14, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY–A new report from Lloyd’s of London, the world’s specialist insurance market, found that a growing number of Oklahomans are becoming increasing vulnerable to tornadoes. The report, Tornadoes: A Rising Risk? indicates that the growing density of mobile home parks in Oklahoma and other ‘Tornado Alley’ states is placing a greater risk on lives and homes.
“This report should be a wakeup call,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Mobile homes offer no protection from a tornado. Those who choose to live in one must have a safety plan in place. Chances are, if you try to ride out the storm in a mobile home, you won’t survive.”
Every year, an average of 1,200 tornadoes kill at least 60 people, injure 1,500 more and cause over $400 million in damage across the world. In 2012, 41 tornadoes struck Oklahoma. Six people were killed in an April twister, all in a Woodward mobile home park.
According to the National Weather Service, the percentage of deaths in mobile homes has more than doubled, from 24 percent in 1976 to 50 percent in 2000. The Lloyd’s of London report claims that one third of all tornado deaths now happen in mobile homes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that people living in mobile homes are 23 times more likely to be killed than those living in permanent homes.
“The message is this. If you live in a mobile home, make your severe weather safety plan right now,” said Doak. “Pay close attention to the weather reports. Find a nearby friend or family member with a shelter or permanent home and make plans to go there when severe weather strikes. Find out if your city or town has a community shelter. But whatever you do, do not stay in a mobile home. It’s a deadly mistake.”
The entire report can be found at http://www.ok.gov/oid/documents/Lloyds_TornadoRiskReport.pdf
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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