Twister Report : Tax Incentives

[FYI : The twister report covers tornado and hurricane news throughout the tornado and hurricane season.  This report is a summary of hundreds of twister reports throughout the country.  The tornado season begins in April, peaks in May, and ends in July.  This does not mean that tornados are not a threat for the rest of the year.  Hurricane season begins in July, peaks in September, and generally ends in the beginning of November.  There may be disagreement to the beginning and start date but we base our season on historical twister activity.]

Tax Incentivization for Hurricane preparedness

A tax holiday was approved in the state of Florida in May 2017 that allowed citizens to purchase Hurricane preparedness items tax free.  This is a step in the right direction to encourage citizens in twister alleys to increase survival awareness and disaster preparedness.  The disaster preparedness tax holiday started on June 2 and ended on June 4.  It is interesting to note that this tax bill was approved several weeks after our YouTube video was posted about tornados.  In our video below, we asked viewers to contact their local congressmen and congresswomen about tornado tax incentives.

 

This tax holiday is a nice incentive but is a drop in the bucket compared to the overall threat and cost of twisters in society.  A better tax incentive would be to approve of an emergency tax holiday before a hurricane or tropical storm is predicted to strike land.

We can only try to understand why states like Florida have a trinket attitude towards an impending tornado and hurricane tragedy.  States that are in tornado and hurricane zones should invest significantly in twister education.  Tax incentives should be significant during their respective seasons and announced so that citizens can prepare for a life threatening twister.  Our opinion is that Florida representatives do not believe that the tax incentive would significantly boost life savings and injury prevention.  Instead we believe that the trinket tax incentives are a pacifier to a public that is largely dependent on others to bail them out of an emergency.

Throughout the history of tornados and hurricanes, most citizens do not prepare or educate themselves before imminent danger.  This could be for the following reasons:

  • Insurance policies cover tornado damage.
  • There is no significant incentive to adequate preparedness.
  • No knowledge and experience with the loss of power and water.
  • Dependency on government and non-profit help.
  • Not educated about the dangers of emergency disasters.
  • Risk of death or injury is low. (Risk of inconvenience is high.)

The Data is Not Lying

To date the U.S. has experienced two violent tornados.  (Violent tornados are rated as EF4 or EF5 according to the Fujita rating.)  One tornado was an EF2 tornado and caused the most deaths out of all tornados this year.  You can read more about this tornado in Georgia below.

To  date the U.S. has had more deaths due to tornados in 9 years.  The last time that the U.S. had such tornado deaths were in 2008 where 66 people lost their lives in January and February 2008.  To date, Mississippi and Georgia had to face over 20 tornados so far this tornado season.  Unfortunately Georgia is the state that leads all states with tornado deaths.

Enhanced Fujita Scale

The data for deaths in 2017 so far.

In Home Fatalities : 8

Manufactured Home Fatalities : 19

Outside Fatalities : 2

In Building : 1

In Vehicle : 4

As mentioned in our video above, manufactured homes are the worst place to be in a tornado.  As you can see in the data above, 55% of all tornado deaths this year occurred in manufactured homes.  If you live in a manufactured home you must have a designated area to go to when there is a tornado warning in the area.  Manufactured homes do not stand up to a severe tornado or any tornado with high winds.

Compared to last year, the number of tornado fatalities have increased by 89% so far.  By the end of the year the number of tornado deaths could increase by more than 100% compared to last year. So far this year has gotten off to a DEADLY beginning.

Historically speaking, the number of deaths due to twisters have dropped.  The risk of death is fairly low.  But this does not quantify the other issues that a tornado can cause.  Power lines will go out causing citizens to dash to the grocery store when their refrigerator has spoiled food.  The inconvenience risk is large because a downed power line several blocks away directly affects citizens in another area.  Civil disorderly conduct is an issue as-well.

Georgia, 2017 Capital of Tornado Deaths

So far this year, the most deaths have occurred in Georgia.  Multiple tornado touchdowns occurred in April 2017 along with hail.  The tornados were categorized as EF-2 with wind speeds of 120 mph.  EF-2 tornados are not considered violent like EF-4 and EF-5 tornados.  But as you can see they caused catastrophic damage including the lives of 19 people, downed power lines, destruction to personal property, and road hazards.

Georgia In Home Damage From EF-2 Tornado

Of the dead in Georgia, most were in manufactured homes.  These deaths could have been avoided if those who live in these manufactured homes were educated as to the danger of being in a manufactured home during a tornado.  They could have been given access to a tornado shelter in the area until the tornado warning went away.

50 National Guard troops were sent to the area to address any type of civil disobedience and civil unrest issues.  The local Georgia power companies reported over 5,000 power outages.  This means that over 5,000 people were without power for at least one week.  These citizens had to rely on their own power to cook food, go on the internet, and live daily life.  This is over 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 citizens who could of used survival education and supplies to weather the tornado.

See the tornado damage below.

This example of a tornado shows us that any tornado should be taken SERIOUSLY.  The EF-2 tornado made Georgia the worst state when it comes to tornado deaths this year.  One statistic that we could not get a hold of was whether or not the citizens were prepared for severe tornado damage to persons and property.

The fact that 50 national guard troops were sent in was an indication that there will need to be a substantial relief effort and order restored in certain areas.  This is an indicator as to how prepared the Georgia citizens were.  We do not have any video or photos of the lack of preparation.  However, a relief effort was made to help the citizens who were not prepared for a disaster emergency just like citizens in other states.

Summary

Since their recording, the total number of tornados increase every year due to climate change.  However, the number of deaths due to tornados have decreased due to:

  1. Advances in technology of tornado warnings
  2. Educated public
  3. Advanced shelter systems
  4. Warning systems such as sirens
  5. Community involvement including designated shelters
  6. Identification and Education of Weak Shelter Structures (Manufactured Homes)

In recent history, from 2008, the U.S. has had the worst tornado death count.  Most of the deaths, about 55%, are due to persons being in manufactured homes during a tornado.  If these persons were educated as to the dangers of being in a manufactured home during a tornado then these deaths could have been avoided.

Tornado death counts should not be the only metric that we should evaluate when assessing tornado damage.  The number of power outages will also tell us how destructive a tornado is.  The number of homes affected by power outages this year have been large enough to cause some concern. We estimate that anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people, including businesses, were affected by power outages.  This means that these people had to find an alternative method of power or leave the area.  About 80 million people live in southeastern states.  We believe by the end of this year that 100,000 to 200,000 people will be affected by power outages due to tornados.

The figure of 200,000 people affected by tornadoes does not include power outages from other disaster emergencies such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, tropical thunderstorms, accidents, and man-made disasters.  We can increase this figure substantially to 500,000 to 800,000.  This is close to 1% of the total population at some point will be without an adequate power supply.  Over 30 to 50 years that 1% probability of living with a power outage will increase to 40 to 50%.

You know that one week without disaster preparation could change your life forever.  Prepare now!