Is your business prepared for a major storm? Is your business prepared to protect your customers, employees, and even your own life in the event that a tornado is coming? Many people have storm shelters in areas that are heavily hit with tornados, but very few businesses have tornado shelters. Many restaurants have walk-in refrigerators, and employees can get inside of those, but what about all of the other businesses out there? If you are a business owner, read on – it could save the lives of you, your employees and your customers!
The best way to ensure your business is ready for a tornado is to have an emergency preparedness plan. When dealing with a tornado this action plan should identify a place to take shelter, how community tornado warning systems will be monitored and how to account for all people during a tornado. Make sure all employees know of this plan, and have surprise practice drills. If you have a large number of employees, it makes sense to nominate several leaders and divide everyone into groups.
During a tornado the best shelter is an underground area, such as a basement or a storm shelter. However, if this type of structure is not available consider the following:
When choosing a shelter make sure it has no windows and avoid structures with flat, wide-span roofs. Also try to stay in the center of the room. Ensure the shelter location is stocked with adequate emergency supplies.
If caught outdoors away from a designated shelter try to get to a suitable shelter as quickly as possible. If this is not possible here are two options:
The following steps are recommended to help ensure the safety of personnel if a tornado occurs:
This plan should be reviewed with employees on an annual basis and updated whenever a change occurs within your company. Remember, a tornado can occur at any time, any place. Make sure to protect your employee using these recommended guidelines.
No one ever wants to be in a situation where they have to drop everything and leave in an emergency. However; given the increasing concerns today, many people choose to prepare themselves just in case.
Most people are not super paranoid, but if you take a rational look at the world and make some basic steps to protect yourself by building a bug-out-bag, you could help protect you and your family in an emergency.
Sometimes people make bug-out-bags for fear of a big and dramatic event initiating the end of civilization. But there are many more common events that happen all of the time that would make having a bug-out-gag well worth it. These events include:
There is a wide selection of off the shelf bug-out-bags that are sold online and if you are not interested in individually picking out the bag essentials, this is a good option. However; because they are mass produced and sold to the general public they often do not include options for your specific location. For example, you would not have the same supplies if you lived in the desert versus living by water. Also, you should make sure to pack enough supplies for your entire family. Pre-packaged bug-out-bags may not include enough supplies if you have a larger family.
Regardless of any variables, there are some simple rules that you should observe when deciding on the content of your bug-out-bag. Please see below:
Below are some of the essentials every bug-out-bag should include. Please remember to customize this to fit with your family.
Hopefully you will never be put in a situation where you are forced to flee your home. But, as you can see with some basic planning you can take steps to ensure the safety of you and your family.
Just because tornado season is winding down, doesn’t mean you should forget about severe storms hitting. During the off-season, there are plenty of things you can do in order to prep for next season. Below are our top tips for how to use the off-season as a prime time to prep for tornado season.
We hope this article gave you helpful ideas that you may not have thought about before. Take the off-season months and get prepared!
Many people mistakenly think that a highway overpass provides a safe haven from a tornado. The reality is that an overpass may be one of the worst places to seek shelter from a tornado. Using an overpass for your shelter can put you at a much greater risk of being killed or seriously injured by a tornado.
Tornado wind speeds can sometimes exceed 200 mph. These destructive winds produce airborne debris that are blown into and channeled under the overpass where people might be seeking shelter. Varying debris, including dirt, sand and rocks that are moving at incredible speeds can easily penetrate clothing and skin, causing serious injuries or even death.
Let’s take a look at the facts:
If you are on the road, try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If that is not an option, pull over and park. You now have two choices:
Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.
The bottom line is: OVERPASSES DO NOT MAKE SAFE SHELTER AREAS! Check out the video below to see what happens when you shelter under an overpass:
Also, take a look at our related articles:
The most important part of ensuring your school is safe from severe storms is to develop an action plan with frequent drills throughout the year. It is important to remember that one size does not fit all when it comes to a tornado safety plan. School buildings should be inspected and shelter areas identified by a registered engineer. Once these shelter areas are designated, then a plan should be tailored around being able to move people to those areas quickly.
Basements offer the best protection, but for schools without basements interior rooms or hallways away from windows and glass are the next best things. Flying debris is the biggest tornado hazard and causes the most injuries! That's why it is important to put as many interior walls as possible between you and a tornado.
These buildings are often constructed like mobile homes and can be just as dangerous during severe storms. Your tornado safety plan must include getting students out of portable classrooms quickly and into a safe area within the main building. If possible students should be evacuated from portable classrooms before the severe weather begins or when a tornado watch is issued, not a tornado warning. That is why it is important for all schools to have a NOAA Weather Radio with battery backup. Having someone monitoring this radio can give you a head start if severe weather is approaching!
Large open areas like gymnasiums, auditoriums, and lunchrooms can be very dangerous and should not be used as shelter areas. These types of rooms have structural weaknesses and lack of roof support, making them prone to collapsing during severe wind and weather.
If the school’s tornado alarm relies on electricity, have an alternative method to notify faculty and students of the warning in case of a power failure. A large bull horn or whistle are considered good alternatives. Make sure all faculty and students are aware of the alternative warning signals.
Students with physical disabilities can take longer to move to shelter areas. Moving these students when a watch is issued will insure getting them into safety shelter areas before the storm hits.
Crouch low on your knees, head down and cover the back of your head and neck with your arms. Crawling under a desk or table in this position can offer you more protection as well.
If severe weather is approaching keep students after until the severe weather passes. Students are safer inside the school than in a car or bus.
Having several tornado drills throughout the year will insure the smoothest transfer of students to shelter areas. Seconds count during severe weather and the quicker you can get them to the designated safety areas the less chance for injuries or fatalities!
Are you the type of person who likes to be prepared for any situation? We are too! Check out our list of severe weather, disaster, and survival apps to stay alert and prepared.
Please note that you will need to check each to see the compatibility with your iOS or Android device.
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