NYC at less risk, but not immune
Think you’re safe from tornadoes in New York City?
They’re rare, but they happen — and, weirdly, they’ve happened a couple of times in the last year. In September, a storm that included two tornadoes roared across Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, killing a woman. Less than two months before, on July 25, a funnel cloud touched down in The Bronx and zipped through Riverdale with 100-mph winds, knocking over small trees and utility poles. The NYC tornado before that, in August 2007, ripped through Staten Island and southwestern Brooklyn with 135-mph winds. In all, according to the National Weather Service, seven tornadoes have been confirmed in the city since 1974.
OK, so the chances of your sustaining severe damage from a twister in the Tri-State area are pretty slim. You’ll likely go the rest of your life without seeing anything like the horrifying tornadoes that churned through Alabama and other Southeastern states recently. But springtime usually brings the most severe weather, and tornadoes aren’t the only weather systems that can wreck homes and property.
The important thing here is to make sure you have a good record of your belongings and their worth; it’s why a home inventory is so important. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety has some excellent tornado-related information here. If a tornado damages or destroys your residence, the best thing to do is compile for the insurance adjuster as much specific information as possible on the value of what’s been lost. Take photographs, especially digital photographs, and video of the site; prepare an inventory; collect cancelled checks, receipts, invoices and other papers; and save receipts from any expenses related to temporary home repair or additional living expenses.