Is Your Workplace Prepared for a Tornado?


According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, more than 1,200 tornadoes form annually in the United States. As an employer, you have a responsibility to keep your workers as safe as possible. Are you prepared in the event the emergency siren sounds?

Before the Storm

The first rule of preparedness is to have an emergency supply kit. In addition to the basics, such as food, water, a first aid kit, flashlights, and a radio, add these items that you probably haven’t thought about.

  • A whistle to signal rescue workers
  • Moist towelettes and garbage bags
  • A manual can opener
  • Extra batteries

If you own a business that cares for babies, the elderly or animals, you’ll need additional supplies. Books, cards, and other small items help to keep children occupied during scary situations. Consider subscribing to a weather dashboard app. These technologically advanced storm detectors alert your phone or mobile device if tornado weather is possible in your area.

During the Storm

Your employees should know the safest place to take shelter in case of a tornado. Create an emergency plan that teaches your workers how to properly navigate to the safe space when necessary. Seek out small, interior rooms or hallways on the lowest floor of your building. Have everyone stay in the center of the room and avoid doors and windows. Do not use cafeterias, gymnasiums, or other large rooms that have wide roofs.

After the Storm

Put an accountability procedure in place. This could be creating a buddy system for your employees or simply taking a head count at specified intervals during and after a tornado. After the storm, check your employees for injuries, providing first aid where you can but not moving anyone who has serious injuries. If you move through damaged areas, be very cautious, and always listen to emergency personnel when they are available to help.

Tornadoes are scary, but you can reduce the risk of injury by having a strong safety plan in place for your employees. Educate yourself about storms as much as you can beforehand by following STEM lesson plans and other educational tools.