Friday, April 12, 2013

5 ways to prepare your business for tornado season...

Peak tornado season runs from mid-spring through early summer and, if a tornado strikes near your business, you need to react quickly. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a severe weather plan and safe areas for your employees. Follow these steps to get your company and employees ready for storm season:

1. Determine how much space you’ll require. 
You should have enough safe areas to fit all employees and any guests who may be in the building at the time of a tornado. Use the following guidelines from FEMA for how much space you need:

  •  Occupants (standing and seated): 5 square feet per person

  •  Wheelchair users: 10 square feet per person

2. Walk through your building to identify the safest areas
. The basement typically is best. If your building doesn’t have a basement, select an area on the lowest level. Ideally, this space should be a small interior room or corridor. Avoid areas with windows and rooms with high ceilings or outside walls — these are more likely to be damaged during a storm.

3. Assess the exterior of the building
. Look for trees, poles, and other items that could fall or hit the building. Don’t choose safe areas near these hazards.

4. Hold tornado drills often
. Employees in all parts of the building should know where to go and practice the paths to get there.

5. Monitor the weather
. A tornado watch means conditions are right for a tornado and there is a high probability of one in the surrounding area. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted in your county, or one is moving toward your area. It also could signify that weather radar indicates a high probability of a tornado.

Someone in your building should have access to a weather radio to listen for severe weather alerts. They also should monitor local radar information if a watch or warning has been issued and provide alerts and/or directions to employees.

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