Do You Have A Severe Weather Plan?

On April 22, 2011, two supercell thunderstorms crossed the St Louis metropolitan area dropping large hail, strong winds and 5 tornadoes, including one ranked EF4. The storm outbreak caused more that $30 million dollars in damage.

EF4 Tornado that hit Bridgeton, MO on April 22, 2011

The tornadoes that occurred during the spring of 2011 were deadly, record-setting, and heart breaking. We can't control Mother Nature, but what we can control is whether or not we are ready and have a severe weather plan in place.

If you are not already prepared, now is the time.

Let's start by familiarizing the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard:

TORNADO WATCH - Means weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.

TORNADO WARNING - means either a tornado is occurring or expected to develop shortly in your area, and you need to take shelter immediately.

Tornadoes can develop quickly, so it's important that you act quickly when alerted.


  • Create a family communication plan in the case that you and your family members are in different places when severe weather strikes.

  • Assemble your Emergency Kit -

Your Emergency Kit should have the following:

Medications and list

Contact Numbers

First Aid Kit

Nonperishable Food

3 Day Supply of Water

Portable, Battery Powered Radio

Hygiene Items




Clothing and Blankets

Have 3 days of supplies and resources available to be self sufficient. Plan for pets if you have them.

  • Determine the best place in your home to take shelter during severe weather.

  • Find out how the emergency management system in your area alerts you to severe weather - sirens, mass communications, etc.

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.


  • Monitor your local news or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest weather forecasts.

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.

  • Make sure you know where to seek shelter in the event a tornado warning is issued for your area.

  • If you are in a mobile home, move to a sturdy building.


  • Do not go outside to watch

  • If you are inside, Put on your shoes and take cover in a safe place away from windows

  • If you are outside, go to the nearest building and take cover

  • If you live in an apartment, get to the lowest level of the building and take cover.


  • Listen to the radio or check the internet from your smartphone on news and instructions as they become available.

  • Remain out of damaged buildings and stay clear of downed power lines. Report downed lines to Ameren UE.

  • Check on others who may need assistance such as neighbors or loved ones.


  • FIRST Take pictures of the entire property (the insurance company will ask for them)

  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim, they will send out an adjuster.

  • Do what you need to do to protect your property from further damage (i.e. hire a contractor to tarp the roof, board up broken windows, remove hazards on your property)

  • Hire a reputable contractor to assist you with restoration.

Gwen Co has assisted thousands of homeowners over the years with storm restoration and insurance claims. You can conveniently schedule an appointment online HERE. For questions relating to insurance claims and damage coverage, you can contact us using the contact form HERE or call or text 314-882-6614.

Safety is our number one concern. We recommend that everyone get prepared and create a plan in the event severe weather strikes our area again.

Roofer Gwen

Owner/Founder, Gwen Co, LLC

"Everything you love is under that roof."

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