From May 5 to May 10, as many as 75 tornadoes stormed through the Great Plains. At least one twister hit Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas over that six-day stretch.

Unfortunately for the people who live in those six states, they had to contend with more than just violent winds during this particular storm sequence. Many of them also had to deal with hail, heavy rain, and flooding.

Not as Destructive as They Could Have Been

Thankfully, none of these tornadoes rated higher than an EF3. Most rated either EF1 or EF0. (EF0 tornadoes usually produce little or no damage, while EF1s cause moderate damage.)

Compare that to the EF5 twister that struck an Oklahoma City suburb in 2013. It killed 24 people, injured nearly 400 others, and damaged area homes and buildings to the tune of between $2 billion and $3.5 billion. 

Still, the 75 or so tornadoes that impacted Arkansas, Oklahoma, and many neighboring states were destructive enough. If you live in the region, you'll want to protect yourself from similar storms in the future. So make sure you’ve got the right kinds and amounts of car and homeowners insurance.

Hail, Flash Floods, and Escaped Zoo Animals

A good, but also sad, example of the damage this series of storms brought to the Great Plains this past May: it killed seven people. Tornadoes caused five of those deaths -- three in Texas, two in Arkansas -- and floods caused two of them. This severe weather also injured numerous residents in the region.

Here are a few other examples of the damage these storms inflicted on this part of the US in a few short days:

  • In Nebraska, more than 10 inches of rain fell near Crete, while over six inches fell in Lincoln. The Lincoln event resulted in flash flooding and water rescues.
  • Flash flooding also affected Texas — especially Bowie and Jack Counties. Portions of the state also saw hail the size of baseballs.
  • A number of animals escaped from a zoo-like “safari” near Oklahoma City in the wake of one of the area’s many tornadoes. (Don’t worry, they were found and returned to their enclosures before injuring anyone or before being injured themselves.)

This storm system caused enough damage and destruction in Oklahoma alone that its governor declared a state of emergency for all 77 state counties. On the same day, President Obama signed a disaster declaration covering three Oklahoma counties that allowed residents to take advantage of relief funding. 

Damage Costs + Insurance Component

There’s no telling how much the early-May tornado outbreak actually cost area residents, business owners, and insurance providers. But it’s probably not a small amount.

After all, high winds, hail, and flooding tend to cause a lot of damage to both vehicles and homes, and often that damage is expensive to repair.

Which is why it’s important to have enough auto and homeowners insurance. Thankfully, you don’t need to buy special coverage to protect your car or house from tornado or other storm damage.

When it comes to your house, for instance, a standard homeowners policy is enough to cover most of the hazards related to tornadoes or thunderstorms. That said, you’ll need to invest in flood insurance — through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program— if you want to be free from worry on that end. (For more information on this kind of coverage, read our article, “What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance.”)

To protect your cars from storm-related damage make sure you have comprehensive, collision, and the required liability insurance coverage. (To learn more about comprehensive coverage, check out QuoteWizard’s “Comprehensive Car Insurance Basics” article.)

Make sure you’ve got the right amount and types of coverage. Also, make sure you’re getting the best homeowners insurance rates by comparing quotes from multiple companies.