What to Do When… A Tornado Strikes

On December 25 last year, 34 tornadoes ripped through the South, destroying homes and businesses and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. The harsh weather even created an 8-foot-deep sinkhole in Vicksburg, MS.

While many residents and businesses were caught off-guard by this disaster, we don’t want you to be. To help you prepare for future tornadoes, we’ve put together the following tips to help you and your business weather the storm.

  • If you’re indoors, seek cover underground. Seeking shelter in a basement or cellar is the ideal course of action if a tornado is looming. If you don’t have access to a cellar or basement, move to the center of the lowest floor of the building.
  • If you’re in your vehicle and can’t get to shelter, drive away. Formerly, people were advised to abandon their vehicles and seek shelter in a low ditch. However, now, experts recommend driving out of the storm’s path at a right angle.
  • If you’re caught in the middle of a tornado while in your car, stay put. The latest reports advise you to stay inside your vehicle, strap on your seat belt and leave your engine running so that collision safety features will remain active.
  • Keep your employees informed. Make sure that during a tornado or other disaster, your employees know what to do in order to be safe. You should practice scenarios periodically to avoid confusion in the event of an actual emergency situation.
  • Have a disaster recovery plan in place. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” Without a disaster recovery plan in place, your business could be temporarily interrupted or even permanently closed after a tornado. Implement and test a disaster recovery plan to keep your business running smoothly during and after a disaster.

Whether you’re protecting yourself or an entire business, be prepared to survive the storm. For more tornado safety tips, visit ready.gov/tornadoes.

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