National Tornado Summit Focused on Catastrophe Preparedness, Response

February 5, 2014

The third annual National Tornado Summit being held Feb. 10 and 11 in Oklahoma City will bring together insurance industry professionals, emergency managers, policymakers and weather experts.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak says it’s an unequaled opportunity for attendees to learn from each other how to better prepare for and recover from tornadoes and other natural catastrophes. Oklahoma, he said, has successfully implemented many ideas and innovations gathered from past tornado summits.

“This year, more than ever, we are reminded of the incredible impact severe weather can have on communities, families and businesses,” said National Tornado Summit Committee Co-Chair Chad Yearwood. “The EF-5 tornado that hit Moore this past May definitely proved that. Most of this year’s speakers were directly involved with that devastating tornado, either through forecasting, emergency response or claims handling. The information they plan to share will make a significant impact on communities, businesses and the insurance industry.”

The National Tornado Summit includes dedicated tracks for insurance producers, insurance adjusters, emergency managers and meteorologists. General Sessions will offer information beneficial to all attendees. The Summit will begin with a panel discussion of lessons learned from violent tornadoes. The panel will include mayors from Tuscaloosa and Moore.

“It takes a lot of people to deal with a disaster,” said Moore Mayor Glen Lewis. “The more information we share and the more we learn about the best practices in disaster response and recovery, the quicker we can help the survivors put their lives back together. That’s why the National Tornado Summit is so important.”

For the second straight year, the Summit will also include the National Severe Weather Workshop. The breakout sessions, organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will address communication challenges during Oklahoma’s May tornadoes, storm safety in schools, possible improvements to the enhanced Fujita scale and more. The summit also includes a tour of the National Weather Center and the Storm Prediction Center, which monitors severe weather for 48 states.

“We’re very excited to bring back the National Severe Weather Workshop,” said Kim Decker, National Tornado Summit Committee Co-Chair. “These speakers are the best of the best when it comes to forecasting tornadoes, getting the word out and protecting the public. The knowledge and experience they have to share is invaluable. When you add that to the outstanding speakers from the insurance industry and emergency management community, this event really encompasses every aspect of tornado safety, awareness, response and recovery.”

The National Tornado Summit is an educational forum that provides attendees with the knowledge they need to excel in their field. Speakers include:

  •  Mike Bettes – The Emmy Award-winning meteorologist from the Weather Channel will describe the day a record-setting twister left major damage in Oklahoma and crushed his storm-chasing vehicle with him in it.
  • Bob Hartwig – The president of the Insurance Information Institute will discuss insurance trends and challenges in an era of climate volatility.
  • Tanya Brown, Ph.D. – The research engineer for the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety will teach insurance adjusters how to win the war on hail.
  • Larry Tanner – The researcher with the National Wind Institute will share his assessment of safe rooms used during the May 20th tornado in Moore, OK.
  • Moore Mayor Glen Lewis and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox – The community leaders will share the lessons they learned after facing two of the worst tornadoes in U.S. history.

The National Tornado Summit is hosted by the Oklahoma Insurance Department, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Emergency Management, National Weather Center, NOAA, Storm Prediction Center and National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Source: Oklahoma Insurance Department

 

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