Severe Weather Season 2022: Prepare for More Tornadoes

Severe Weather Season 2022: Prepare for More Tornadoes

Severe weather closed out 2021 with unusually high tornadic activity in December. More than 60 tornadoes tore across eight states in the central and southern U.S. that month alone.1 1.1In Mayfield, Kentucky, one twister flattened brick buildings to the ground and killed more than 80 residents before moving on to the next town in a historic, unprecedented CAT disaster.

Although tornadoes can happen any time throughout the year, they are more common in February – March in the South and April – June across the Plains. If recent activity is an indicator, the 2022 tornado season promises to be anything but normal. Places like New Orleans, Louisiana and Des Moines, Iowa have already felt the impacts of these destructive storms and the activity seems to only be increasing as we get further into spring.

Additionally, AccuWeather predicts the worst tornados may hit outside of what’s traditionally known as Tornado Alley. This may even mean that Tornado Alley is shifting eastward altogether putting Alabama at the center of activity.2

Unlike hurricanes, which are often predicted days or even a week in advance, a tornado develops faster often without warning, so damages can be more severe. No one can prevent tornadoes, but you can take steps to put your building in the best position to weather the storm. With only minutes to respond, you can’t afford to be unprepared.

Be Tornado Aware: Protect Yourself and Your Property

Between 2010 and 2020, tornadoes caused roughly $2.5 million in damages per storm – or more than $14 billion in total damage across the U.S.3 Yet building owners and operators who take steps to protect their facilities ahead of a storm may be able to reduce restoration costs should their building sustain damage.

Consider these tips:

  • Learn about tornado safety. Set up a proper shelter or “safe” room — a room specifically designed to provide protection against wind events like tornadoes. If that’s not possible, you may have a basement or another area well suited to protect people from strong winds and flying debris. Hold regular tornado drills, so everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Bring your building up to code. In areas that see tornadoes on a regular basis, building codes may have higher standards than in other areas. It’s a good idea to perform maintenance on your building as a means of preventing damage. These upgrades can save the building from destruction – or at least lessen the impact.
  • Stay on top of information. Tornadoes are so unpredictable and information changes at a moment’s notice. Make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio that reports emergency broadcasts only. This will allow you to stay on top of the tornado’s path and learn when the danger has passed – and you won’t have to rely on your cell phone or Wi-Fi.

Know the Risks and Partner with Experts Early

Insurers should anticipate a more active tornado season this year and be aware of exposures in the South and East that may typically have a lower tornado risk. AccuWeather’s forecast is calling for a potentially “intense” April with 200-275 tornadoes. With the ongoing supply chain and labor challenges in 2022, any delay in estimating damages could delay the project overall which is why it’s important to have regional building consultants on call before a loss occurs.

Today, so much is regionalized. When it comes to a CAT situation, it’s tricky to manage resources effectively. Know who to call to assess a building’s damage if a tornado strikes. When an area is at risk, while assessing the policies in force, concurrently matching regionally available vendor resources will put you ahead of the game.

Speed Up Recovery

Work with building consultants and experts who understand that time is of the essence – and that the quicker you can mobilize and respond, the better. Adjusters need to quickly obtain a dollar value after a loss to identify a loss and come to a resolution on it, whether it’s an agreement about mitigation or hiring contractors for repairs. Ultimately, consultants and experts who can mobilize quickly and get clients what they need in a timely manner will minimize the long-term impact and make clients happier.

Reach out to RMC Group for help assessing damage this tornado season.

This information is intended for informational purposes only. RMC Group is not liable for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the use of this information.


1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “The December 2021 tornado outbreak, explained,” December 20, 2021.
2AccuWeather “2022 predicted to spawn more tornados than recent years,” March 9, 2022., “Tornadoes Caused $2.5 Million in Damage Per Storm Across U.S. in Past Decade,” updated March 29, 2021.