Is Your Business Prepared for Tornado Damage?

According to the Ready Business® Severe Wind Tornado Toolkit, in the aftermath of a natural disaster, businesses can face severe impacts. Immediately after natural disaster damage, 40% of small businesses will not reopen. One year later, 25% of these small businesses will end up closing due to complications resulting from the initial damage. Three years after a destructive severe weather event, 75% of businesses without a continuity plan will fail. 

What steps can businesses take to avoid becoming a statistic? As severe weather events such as tornadoes become more common, RemainSafe understands the importance of safety and preparedness. Read our tips on how to prepare your business to withstand tornado damage. 

Develop a Tornado Emergency Plan

Protecting team members should be the priority for every business in the event of a tornado. You can protect your employees by installing a FEMA-certified storm shelter at your business’s location. RemainSafe offers commercial storm shelters that can be customized to meet your business’s specific size and amenity needs. To learn more about our storm shelter sizing recommendations, we have developed this guide based on FEMA requirements. 

Tornadoes are quick and unpredictable. Another way to ensure your team member’s safety is by stocking your storm shelter with first aid and other survival items. While doing this, you can also store a small box with copies of important business documents to ensure these items are easily accessible when needed. 

Identify Your Risk

Ready Business recognizes identifying the risk of your business facing a tornado or severe weather event as a crucial step in creating your preparedness plan. Identify how your business may be at risk. Locate your business on the Wind Speed Zone Map and identify the average wind speed of tornadoes in your area. This will allow you to determine the impact a tornado may have on your area and the wind speeds your storm shelter will need to withstand. 

Assess or Develop Your Continuity Plan 

“Tornado Alley” refers to an extremely large portion of the U.S. that covers high tornado occurrences. This area includes extensive parts of the Great Plains like north Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Maps of “Tornado Alley” are all seemingly a little different due to the inconsistent data and measurables used, making the “Tornado Alley” trope misleading. The truth is areas of tornado

FEMA’s Office of National Continuity Programs “guides the planning, implementation and assessment of continuity programs that enable federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments to continue performing essential functions and delivering critical services when typical operations are disrupted by an emergency.” As you prepare for a severe weather event, assess your current natural disaster recovery plans and identify how prepared your business is. To do this, you must consider the operations of your business on a day-to-day scale. Ask questions such as:

  • Can you still operate your business without access to your office in the event it is damaged?
  • How long will you be able to meet your employee’s payroll in the event your business income is interrupted?
  • Can your organization operate without any of the following: computers, copier, fax machine, files, inventory or special equipment?

For a full questionnaire to assess your readiness plan, download the Ready Business Severe Wind Tornado Toolkit. FEMA also offers resources for developing your own continuity plan for your business. 

Locate Your Emergency Management Agency

There are a few steps you can take to prepare your business for the aftermath of tornado damage. It is important to identify and know how to contact your local Emergency Management Agency for assistance with aftermath cleanup and funding. If you need assistance finding your Emergency Management Office, reference the resources below.

Southeastern Local Emergency Management Agency Resources

RemainSafe’s mission is to keep businesses and communities safe in the event of severe weather. Contact us or visit our website to learn more about our shelter options and how we can be of service to you.