Neighbors cleaning up Suffolk tornado damage warn others to check their insurance

Posted at 3:52 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 17:23:39-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - It has been nearly a week since an EF1 tornado touched down in a Suffolk neighborhood. Since the beginning of this week, crews have been busy cleaning up damage and debris, allowing neighbors to see the full scope of the destruction left behind from the storm.

"The awnings are destroyed and the awning on the roof and at my bedroom - they are all smashed. The gutters are all smashed," shared David Robinson. "On the roof, there's this big gaping hole about maybe six feet."

Robinson's home has been in his family for generations, but it has never been through a tornado - meaning his clean up efforts are doubling as a crash course in insurance policies.

"I'm questioning, 'Do I have the right insurance? How is the house going to hold up? Will we be dealing with problems down the road?' You just don’t ever think about those type of things," he explained.

Richard Stephens, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, is hoping this past weekend's tornado will remind others of the importance of preparing for severe weather.

"Whether there is a tornado or a hurricane - whatever type of natural disaster - it’s always good to go over your insurance policy and find out what is covered, what is not covered and if flooding is included," explained Stephens. "Go over things with your agent and get those things ironed out ahead of time."

Hurricane season begins next month, which is another reason why Stephens is urging neighbors to take action now.

"Have an emergency kit available. A good time to get that ready is now before hurricane season and you can use the supplies in them anytime there is an emergency."