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III revisits the destruction in Alabama one year ago

The III recently revisited the destruction wrought in Alabama one year ago
The III recently revisited the destruction wrought in Alabama one year ago

Just over one year ago, Alabama was ravaged by a series of tornadoes and other severe weather patterns that caused immense property destruction and many deaths after the region was hit with more than 750 tornadoes during April 2011.

In memoriam of this event, the Insurance Information Institute (III) put out a press release on April 19 describing in detail just how destructive the event was.

"These natural disasters were not only the deadliest in Alabama’s history, they were also the costliest in terms of the property damage and business interruption claims these severe weather events generated," said III's president Dr. Robert Hartwig in the release.

For example, the release states that, in total, Alabama citizens paid $3.2 billion in home, auto and business insurance during 2011. However, because of the destruction that took place in just seven days between April 22 and 28, 2011, $3 billion of those dollars had to be driven into catastrophic loss recovery.

While these severe weather patterns were notably bad, it is also reported that Alabama has logged the seventh most disaster declarations of any state in the country.

Although it is not pleasant to look back on such an incredibly destructive week in American history, the damage experienced in Alabama can provide a valuable lesson for the rest of the country by reminding enterprises and municipality officials – especially those in regions at a similar risk for severe weather incidents – to increase preparedness for similar happenings in the future.

While it may be possible to undertake this process internally, an excellent way to bolster preparedness levels is by sending municipality officials to learn from certified consultants at the World Conference on Disaster Management in Toronto in late June. At this event, officials can learn how to set aside resources for hot sites should primary activity centers be rendered unusable and how to best protect at-risk citizens should an evacuation be necessary, as well as other valuable best practices.