Blog Archives

Tangling With Tornadoes In Birmingham

DSC_6054 Being awakened in the middle of the night is seldom fun.

If your weather radio goes off for a Tornado Warning and then nothing seems to come of it, your first inclination may be to toss the radio in the trash.

If false alarm warnings have ever frustrated you, you missed a good chance to see ‘the other side of the story’ last night in Birmingham:

My head is still spinning after being around a bunch of very sharp scientific minds — the local chapter of the Nat’l Weather Association held its first meeting of the year last evening.

Kevin Laws, Science and Operations Officer for the National Weather Service’s local office, gave a fascinating presentation on Dual Polarization radar, a recent upgrade to the government’s Doppler radar network.

Kevin spoke about the success the NWS is having in working toward two huge goals:  Reducing the number of false alarm tornado warnings, and improving the probability of detection at the same time.  After hearing Kevin talk about the challenges involved, you realize quickly that this is a task that’s much easier said than done.

I enjoyed this meeting a lot.  If you find it interesting to learn how the NWS is trying to improve its warning and other services, this was a valuable chance to learn and appreciate what these folks are doing.

If you’re a weather geek, being part of the NWA’s local chapter is strongly recommended (you can join on line for less than $27; not a bad deal at all).

Visit the local chapter’s website for more information…


What Storms and Scams Cost Us

The roof over your head is getting more expensive to keep protected.

Insurance companies serving the greater Birmingham area say they are taking heavy financial losses from so called “pop up” thunderstorms, or small, isolated storms that are not part of larger weather systems. Many providers are raising the rates we have to pay because of them.

While storm losses are mounting, companies warn that scams run by unscrupulous businesses trying to capitalize on storm damage are costing homeowners huge sums of money, and sometimes, even their insurance coverage.

At the same time, companies are imposing stricter requirements for coverage, for both new and existing customers.

Creg Leggett, an Agent with Allstate Insurance Company in Pelham, says the new rules mean that some consumers applying for insurance may be denied coverage. And, Leggett says, some existing customers may wind up losing their protection.

If you’re a homeowner, the tighter requirements could also mean that you’ll get a visit from your company, even if you haven’t filed any damage claims.

We recently spoke with Creg to learn about the cost of severe storms and well as details about the tighter restrictions taking effect:

Want more information about the insurance changes affecting homeowners in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area?

Creg Leggett can be reached at 205-621-0722, or click here to contact Creg by e-mail.