What’s Your Company’s Tornado Resilience Plan?
Tornado alley encompasses portions of South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and other states. This region has been coined ‘Tornado Alley’ for obvious reasons – as it is the part of the country where twisters occur frequently.
Contrary to popular belief, living outside of tornado alley doesn’t exactly entail safety from these phenomena. Unlike hurricanes, all 50 states have been affected by a tornado at one point or another, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the average year, roughly 1,200 tornadoes are reported to weather authorities.
If you don’t have a tornado plan for your business and employees, now’s the time to develop one. Here are a few recommendations from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) that can help you get started:
Comb the property for red flags
Take the time to inspect the property, seeking out things that are likely to intensify damage. Weak tree limbs, unwieldy shrubbery, and rock or gravel walkways are examples of things that can lead to exterior damage of your office building. IBHS suggests replacing gravel or rock landscaping with softer materials, like mulch or hardtop, that’s more forgiving on exteriors and less likely to become projectiles.
Assemble a contact list
Communication is a key component in emergency preparedness for impending twisters. Gather the emails and cell numbers from all your employees to ensure your ability to reach them before, during or after a tornado. Seamless access to your employee contact list during tornadoes is imperative regarding evacuation orders and employee whereabouts. With that said, your employees should also know how to get in touch with you, and their colleagues, in the event of a twister.
Identify the safest place for shelter in your building
It’s not always clear where people should assemble during tornadoes to ensure optimal safety and avoid the potential for injury. Generally speaking, basements are the ideal shelter location due to thick walls and resilience to high winds. If your office building doesn’t have a basement, opt for the most central portion of the building, ideally a room without windows. The idea is to put as many walls as possible between your employees and the storm outside, IBHS advised.
Following these tips can help prepare you to adequately defend your employees, and the building itself in the event of a tornado. BMS CAT’s Priority Disaster Response Program creates a tailored response plan for your business – so you know exactly how we will respond to your property after a tornado passes. Our team will conduct a walkthrough of the building, outline procedures, and identify what steps to take in order to get your business back up and running following any damage that may occur.
Contact us to learn more about our Priority Disaster Response Program and how it can put your business in the best position for a quick recovery after a disaster.