As tornado season rapidly approaches, those in the business industry should be focusing on evaluating their plans to ensure that their employees remain safe during inclement weather. It’s no question that tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms and with potentially devastating damage. With this being said, business disruptions are inevitable during tornado season and the more prepared you are for a tornado-related emergency, the better off you, your employees and your company will be.
When preparing for tornado season it is important to have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) or a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place. Tornadoes are one of the most disastrous type of storms because they happen with little to no warning. It is important to be able to keep things running smoothly 24/7. If an employer fails to have a plan in place, then you run the risk of putting you and your employee’s lives on the line.
The following tornado information should be included in an EAP:
- Where to take shelter in the event of a tornado- The best place to be in the event of a tornado is in an underground area, such as a basement. Realizing that this is not an option for most places of business, try to locate an interior room or hallway on the lowest possible floor. It is important to stay away from windows and outside walls. If no interior rooms or hallways are available, then stay in the center of the room.
- Policies to ensure that all employees are accounted for- It is difficult to keep track of employee’s whereabouts during the day, especially for larger companies. This can make it challenging to account for employees during and after an emergency. The best way is to use an emergency notification system, such as the one that Preparis offers, in order to alert staff of an emergency and allow everyone to check-in after an emergency to see who is safe.
- How to address any potential hazardous material found on site- Tornados can cause extensive damage and expose you to all kinds of hazardous material. When it comes to hazardous material, you never can be too careful. Make sure to handle sharp objects with caution and dispose of them in the correct way. You should also steer clear of water in a flooded building, as there might run a risk for electrocution. Make sure that if you come in contact with any chemicals, take the proper precautions and contact local authorities.
If you have any questions regarding how to properly clean up your land or property, consult with local authorities.
In addition, it is not a bad idea to make sure that you and your employees have a plan in place for their families as well. This will prevent excess stress during an emergency since their families will also know the proper precautions to take. Employers should also make sure to have emergency supply kits on hand that are easily accessible during and after an emergency.
For a full list of what should be included in an emergency supply kit, click here.
Making sure that you and your employees know what to do in the event of a tornado should never be left on the back burner. Having staff trained on how to navigate a crisis can make a huge difference during an emergency. It is always a good idea to perform tornado drills periodically to ensure that your staff is aware of where to go and what to do should there be a real tornado warning.
Here are a few links you might find beneficial:
Preparis’ Tornado Checklist
Preparis’ 7 Steps to Preparedness Checklist
Preparis’ Severe Weather Infographic
In the event of a major tornado or other natural disaster, you can list yourself as “safe and well” on the Redcross website so that friends and family can search your name and find out if you are alright. You can click here to navigate to that website.