What is a Tornado?
A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. The intensity of a tornado is classified by the Fujita Scale. The scale rates tornados between F0 (weak) and F5 (strong).
A tornado is capable of annihilating structures regardless of how well built they are. A tornado can also uproot trees and hurl objects through the air. Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes don’t have a defined season, and given the unpredictable nature of tornadoes, it’s critical for your organization to start preparing now.
Typically, Tornado Alley includes the Plains States—from the Dakotas to Texas. However, studies have shown that the severity and frequency of tornadoes are actually much more widespread. Tornadoes can touch down absolutely anywhere, which is evident as you can see here on UX .Blog.
Protect Your IT Data Now!
If your business is located in the infamous “Tornado Alley” area of the Central U.S., you should have already prepared for tornadoes. With the recent devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma, you can see that the survival of your business depends on how well prepared you are.
To ensure that your business operations will run smoothly, even after a tornado, it’s important to create a solid and comprehensive IT backup and disaster recovery plan. This IT business continuity plan is a necessity for any sized business. It will keep your daily operations on track, and cover the back up and security of your valuable data in the event of a power failure or server shutdown.
All businesses, no matter what type or size, should have an IT backup plan in place 24/7.
Our team of Business Continuity Experts can prepare one for you and ensure the safety of all your IT data.
Preparing Your Business for a Tornado
Unlike a hurricane or tropical storm, a tornado can develop instantly, without warning; leaving you little or no time to react. Tornadoes, with winds exceeding 200 mph can appear within minutes, with the ability to cause an incredible amount of damage to everything in its path.
The following is a checklist to prepare your business in the event of a tornado:
Before the Tornado
- Have a prepared crisis-emergency plan including emergency information to provide to all employees, clients, and visitors.
- Create a communication plan and ensure it will work, regardless of the type of disaster. Develop a phone redirection strategy as part of your communication plan.
- Consider a website that’s hosted outside of your region, or a secondary toll-free number. Instruct all business staff on when, what, and how to communicate through the website or toll-free number following a disaster.
- Conduct drills on a regular basis to prepare your employees for a tornado (or other natural or man-made disasters).
- While establishing your timeline for workplace preparation and closure, remember that your employees will need to make plans for their own families as well. Allow enough time for them to execute their own personal plans.
- Identify your critical employees, and make sure they know what’s expected of them during a disaster. For example, IT staff may need to protect and reestablish your technology systems. Make arrangements for this in advance.
- If you require your employees to return to the workplace to assist with the recovery process, ensure you have enough water, first-aid supplies, nonperishable food items, generators, flashlights, and all other necessities.
- Ensure that you have a plan that allows your payroll, benefits, and HR functions to operate during, and after a disaster.
- Update all employee-contact information on a regular basis.
- Convert your crisis management plan into writing, and make sure all employees have a copy.
During the Tornado
If threatening weather is approaching, or a tornado warning has been issued, make sure employees do the following:
- Stay away from windows and doors.
- Move to an interior room, preferably the hallway on the lowest floor. If possible, stay underneath a piece of heavy furniture.
- Work trailers should be abandoned in the event of a tornado, as they offer little protection.
- If there’s no basement, go to the center of an interior room at the lowest level. Stay away from corners, doors, windows, and outside walls.
After the Tornado
- Make sure the site is safe for re-entry. If necessary, a third-party inspector can verify safety.
- Following a disaster, communication is critical and necessary. Put your communication plan into effect as soon as possible.
We Can Help
If you’re still not sure how to prepare your business for a natural or man-made disaster, we can help you create a comprehensive IT backup and disaster recovery plan.
Call your business continuity professionals to learn more about how we can help your business prepare for any emergency.