Tornado Safety Part One: Documents

Paperwork is the New Survival Gear

The Southern United States suffers more severe tornadoes and more deaths than any other part of the country. As a result, Arkansas is ranked fourth for the state with the most deaths caused by tornadoes. Tornado season is roughly the period between March and June when the climate transitions between cool and warm air.

Be ready for a tornado or other natural disaster by taking proper precautions. In this first post in our series about Tornado Safety, we’ll be discussing Documents. We know that preparing paperwork isn’t as fun as buying survivalist gadgets or doomsday gear, but the importance of having your documents in order cannot be overstated.

First, you need to make sure that your belongings and property are insured. Second, you’ll need to make sure you have all of your documents prepared. Lastly, you’ll need to store the documents to keep them safe.

Tornado Insurance

One of the most important documents you’ll need is your Insurance documents.

Having insurance for your home or business is the best way to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild, or replace what is damaged. Farm Bureau Insurance can help you insure all of your property. We can review your existing policies and update them for the amount and extent of coverage required by your family for all possible hazards.

Property (Homeowners or Renters)

We cover many types of properties including owner, tenant, and seasonally occupied dwellings against tornadoes.


We partner with Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield for health and dental policies.

Life Insurance

Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company offers a Term Life or Whole Life insurance policy that will work for you.

Flood Insurance

Our coverage for floods is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program and is very important for people to get *even if* you don’t reside in a flood plain. 20% of all flood claimants live outside of a flood plain.

Preparing Documents

When you’re faced with a personal emergency or disaster, a quick reference guide with all of your most important information can help you stay organized and recover more quickly.

FEMA has two documents that offer step-by-step instructions for how to protect your personal assets and financial information:

  1. The Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide: guides you through the steps you can take before a disaster strikes. It can help you:
    • Create a disaster action plan for one individual or for an entire family, including post-disaster meeting locations
    • Persons to contact in case they lose contact with one another
    • Physicians’ information
    • Necessary medications
    • School locations and contact numbers
    • Child care pick-up instructions
    • Listing of personal assets and a recovery budget
  2. Emergency Financial Aid Kit (EFFAK) helps users identify and organize key financial records and serves as a quick reference to their most important financial documents, thus recovering much quicker by using it.
    • Identification documents
    • Pet information
    • Household information
    • Emergency notification
    • Financial and legal documents
    • Insurance
    • Medical information
    • Household Contacts

Document Storage

Some documents are worth saving. Therefore, store documents physically, electronically, in the cloud, or a combination of the three.

Physical Storage

Purchase a waterproof, fireproof document safe for your most irreplaceable documents like insurance documents, birth certificates, passports, and old photographs. Wirecutter tested and rated a number of document safes according to how durable, portable, and affordable they were.


Scan your vital records such as your EEFK, and save the files on flash drives. In addition, you should password-protect the data you have stored in case of loss or theft. Store the backup records in a safe deposit box or other off-site location.


Back the files you’d save on a flash drive to a cloud-based server like Google Drive.

If you want to take the first step of properly insuring your property, please contact a Farm Bureau insurance agent today.