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National Tornado Summit is Monday, Tuesday at Oklahoma City's Cox Convention Center

The National Tornado Summit is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at the Cox Convention Center.

The purpose of the event is to improve disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery in order to save lives and property in the United States, organizers said.

“The summit is important to the Oklahoma Insurance Department because we strive to be a leader in consumer assistance,” state Insurance Commissioner John Doak said. “This conference helps us anticipate their needs and even prevent problems before they arise. Under Title 36 of the state statute where it describes the duties of insurance commissioner, the first thing it mentions is to educate the public. I take that very seriously. This summit helps us accomplish that goal.”

Also, the summit serves as a national forum for insurance professionals and regulators, as well as international, national and state experts to exchange ideas and recommend new policies to improve emergency management.

“This summit allows insurance, weather and emergency management professionals to collaborate, share ideas, discuss problems and find solutions to common goals — saving lives, mitigating damages and helping families and communities quickly recover from disaster,” Doak said. “It's amazing what you can accomplish when you get all the key players together in the same room to discuss an issue. We've already put several initiatives from previous summits into place, including the idea of an insurance village.

“We set it up at Moore First Baptist Church. It was really a one-stop shop for tornado survivors to meet with an adjuster, file their claim, go to the ATM, get some food and much more. It was tremendously successful. That idea came out of the National Tornado Summit.”

This year's summit is scheduled to include:

• A two-day trade show intended to connect participants with resources, services and products.

• General sessions with presentations on crisis and disaster communications, business and home safety, disaster stress and reinsurance.

• More than 25 breakout sessions featuring international, national and state experts.

• Continuing education credits for insurance professionals.

• A Tour of the National Weather Center in Norman.

Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Storm Prediction Center in Norman, said the National Tornado Summit provides the National Weather Service an opportunity to communicate and interact with groups involved in better understanding the risk of severe weather.

“The insurance industry is interested in the details of the SPC's severe weather database, and also in finding ways to better protect property and people from weather hazards,” Carbin said.

“This constituency is involved in both response and recovery phases of disaster. The SPC and NWS plan to provide both these groups with information about forecasting and warning improvements that will ultimately contribute to enhanced public safety.”

If you go

To register for the National Tornado Summit or for other information regarding the summit, go online to

Bryan Painter

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