The Cost of Devastation

oklahoma tornado imageJust 1-week after a string of deadly tornadoes touched down, including the one that leveled the town of Moore, Oklahoma, officials report storm clean-up could translate into $5B in insured property losses.

Although the number is still fluid, tornado-related claims in Moore, OK alone are up to 6,700. The monster tornado, rated at the top of a 5-step scale, destroyed 13,000 structures, and resulted in 24 fatalities. For some tornado vicitims, personal property consists of 4 walls, for others, a bathtub.

Tornado vicitims are in need of so much help. To that end, Pie’s Catastrophe Response Team will be on-site providing support for insurance companies, contractors, and assisting with overall rehabilitation parameters and feasibility for damaged buildings. Call Toll Free: (866) 552-5246.


The Department of Insurance has set up a command center in town at the First Baptist Church, and all of the property and casualty insurance companies are operating from there in a large parking lot. About 500 customers have come just to the State Farm tents, and the company was able to write additional living expenses checks and provide temporary lodging and food.
Farmers Insurance has two catastrophe buses in the area allowing people to file claims, process checks and obtain food and beverages on site.

Assistance for tornado victims has luckily been very tangible and just a few days ago, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law authorizing a $45 million disaster-relief fund for impacted areas.

Per National Weather Service reports, Oklahoma storm stats include:

  • 16 tornadoes touched down on May 18
  • 29 touched down on May 19
  • 31 touched down on May 20
  • Two of the tornadoes that struck south of Oklahoma City, an EF4 tornado on May 19 and the EF5 tornado on May 20 that struck Moore, were responsible for an estimated 26 fatalities.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports 76 incidents of straight winds and 92 hail storms on May 18, 255 wind events and 142 hail storms on the 19th, and 218 wind events and 105 hail storms on the 20th


Advance tornado forecasts and warnings were not sufficient to reduce the loss of life from these events,” Eqecat says. Some experts, though, credited modern warning systems with at least giving people in the tornadoes’ path a chance to get to safety. Harold Brooks, senior scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory’s forecast research and development division, found that from 1986 to 2004 the amount of lead time between warning issuance and tornado formation has increased from 5 minutes to 13 minutes or more, allowing people to grab belongings and get to shelter.

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