A tornado is arguably one of the most destructive types of storms imaginable. Unlike a hurricane or tropical storm, a tornado may develop almost without warning, appearing within minutes and leaving little time to react accordingly. Winds can get up to and exceed 200mph causing enormous damage in its path. Therefore, the importance of being prepared beforehand cannot be conveyed strongly enough.

The following is a checklist to prepare your business in the event of such a tornado.

Before the Tornado

  • Have a weather alert radio in the office.
  • Have a plan to provide emergency notification (warning system) to all employees, clients, visitors and customers in an emergency. The Alert Notification System in MyAgility can be a valuable tool to assist in keeping communication lines open with employees.
  • Put your crisis management plan in writing and give it to all employees.
  • Conduct drills regularly to prepare employees for the real thing.
  • When you establish your timeline for workplace preparation and closure, consider that employees will need to prepare their families and take care of personal matters as well. Allow enough time for them to execute their personal preparedness plans.
  • Identify critical employees, and make sure they understand what is expected of them during a disaster. For example, you may need certain employees responsible for IT functions to work during a disaster to protect and reestablish your technology systems. If you need those employees to work remotely, make travel, hotel, and meal arrangements in advance, and ensure they know what equipment and support they will need to perform their duties.
  • Develop a plan to allow your payroll, benefits, and HR functions to operate during a disaster, after a disaster, or during any period in which access to your workplace is restricted.
  • If employees will be required to return to the workplace to assist in the recovery process before all services are restored, obtain an adequate supply of water, nonperishable food, first-aid supplies, generators, cleaning supplies, batteries, flashlights, and other necessities.
  • Update your employee contact information regularly and at the beginning of any season during which natural disasters are more likely. For those in hurricane-prone areas, that means now.
  • Look for the following danger signs: dark, often greenish sky, large hail, dark, low-lying clouds, and/or loud roar (similar to a freight train).

Download the checklist for more tips during and after the tornado.