Tornadoes definitely aren’t the norm in New England, but as recent severe weather events have proved, it can happen here just as easily as anywhere else. The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down in eastern Connecticut, cutting a path about 11 miles long and 100 yards wide through Andover, Coventry, and Mansfield on July 10, 2013. It was the fourth tornado in nine days.
Fortunately, there were no injuries, NBC Connecticut confirmed. But the tornado, which caught the New Englanders off guard, left a good bit of damage behind, serving as a valuable reminder of the importance of preparedness no matter what region you live in.
Storm safety procedures should be incorporated into all company and organization emergency action plans. Below are some examples of storm safety steps that could be incorporated into plans in order to ensure the safety of employees during severe weather conditions.
- Make sure everyone knows the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop. A warning, as described by OSHA, means “severe weather is present, there is imminent danger for people in the warning area.” When a warning is issued, everyone should take cover immediately.
- Use a special weather radio, such as a NOAA all-hazard radio, to stay aware of watches and warnings issued for your area when severe weather has been predicted.
- Designate tornado shelters in your building and make sure they are posted in very visible locations, such as with the fire escape routes. Tornado shelters should be away from outside walls, glass windows and doors. Ideal locations are basements, enclosed areas in the middle of the building, or interior stairwells.
- If your employees travel, include plans for what to do if they are driving when severe weather hits. Employees should ideally get off the road and seek shelter inside a sturdy building. However, they can take cover by laying face-down on low ground if they are not able to take shelter indoors.
You should also include points in your tornado safety plan such as how to safely evacuate after the storm passes and what to do in the aftermath, such as assigning someone to contact emergency personnel and another to provide aid until help arrives.
Is your organization prepared for a weather emergency? Do your employees know what to do and where to go? In addition to our insurance offerings, Lamb Financial Group can also help your organization form a safety committee and create a safety policy. Contact us to learn how we can help you be prepared for anything.