Orange, CA, April 23rd, 2012 -- To date, there have been almost 500 reported tornadoes in the United States, making 2012 an unusually destructive year and it’s only the month of April. On average, tornadoes cause 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year. Some years, such as 2012, see much higher numbers.
An average year results in over $1 billion dollars in property damage due to tornadoes in the U.S. Although many properties hit by a tornado may experience complete destruction, many more survive the storm with anything from minor to major property damage. Structures may be left with damage due to strong winds, hail, heavy rain and even flooding when roofs, walls, windows and plumbing are destroyed. Many of these properties can be rebuilt, but there are hazards aside from live electrical wires and leaking gas lines that people need to be aware.
“Fortunately there are professionals who Legends provides insurance coverage for that can help families and business safely rebuild following tornado damage,” reported Brian Mcfarland, Vice President from Legends Environmental Insurance, a leading provider of insurance coverage for remediation, reconstruction and environmental professionals. “It’s critical that people who are forced to rebuild following a tornado understand potential environmental concerns that may need to be addressed to prevent future problems and health concerns for building occupants,” he continued.
Before rebuilding a tornado damaged structure consider the following potential indoor environmental hazards:
Mold can begin to grow in as short as 24 to 48 hours on many types of building materials and household belongings. It’s important to begin drying materials as soon as it is safe to do so. Some nonporous materials can be cleaned and salvaged, but most porous materials should be discarded if mold growth is present.
Sewage, Bacteria, Viruses & Chemicals
Water damage and flooding caused by a tornado can bring not only rainwater into a property, but also viruses, bacteria and chemical contaminants This may result from sewage that has leaked or from damaged chemical containers stored on the property.
Many materials found in older homes contain asbestos. When removing debris, these asbestos fibers can become aerosolized. Inhaled asbestos fibers can cause respiratory disease, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Lead is a concern because it is a highly toxic metal. The disturbance or removal of materials containing lead-based paint from properties built before the 1978 ban on lead in paint may result in elevated concentrations of lead dust in the air.
Legends recently sponsored an educational online video about environmental concerns following a tornado that can be seen at:
About Legends Environmental Insurance Services, LLC
Legends Environmental Insurance Services is nationally recognized as an innovator in providing environmental and restoration insurance programs. The company has over 30 years experience providing these services in all 50 states.