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Essential Tornado Safety Tips for Missouri and the Midwest


As the temperatures begin to warm and Spring draws closer, now is a good time to assess your organization's preparation and response activities in terms of severe weather, which is another reality of the season change in Missouri and the Midwest.


As a business leader, please take a moment to consider some of the risk management considerations in preparing for storms. 


Tornado forming over a farm field
Severe Weather

Tornado Safety Tips #1: Monitor Weather Closely and Daily


Someone in your non-profit or business should be responsible for monitoring weather updates every day. They should have an approved weather safety so they can alert so they can alert people coming to your business, employees and volunteers that provide services, and management so fewer people are caught off guard by weather changes.  A weather radio or weather app should be utilized to maintain current information on impending storms, watches, or warnings.


If you have a website, ensure you direct people to view the website before coming to an event you host. You then have a central place to post alerts that you control -- your website -- to ensure messages reach your audience quickly. Also consider including a "sign up" form for weather alerts and other services that allow people to opt out of marketing. You will get a wider audience if they know they are signing up for weather alerts only.



Have a Shelter Plan

Your tornado safety tips should always involve a plan for getting people to shelter fast.  Imagine a scenario where you have a daycare full of children, employees, and even parents. Not having a plan means having chaos.


First, consider signage. Posting signs for routes to emergency exits or to rendezvous areas in the case of severe weather will assist everyone on site to maintain a flow of foot traffic. This will diminish bottlenecks and backups in moving people from one area of your building to another. 


Second, consider regular practice. Leadership in your organization should be very familiar with the layout of your premises, and should hold drills to make certain everyone is aware of how to respond during an emergency. This should especially hold true for new employees. Make sure that drills are part of their onboarding process.



Car crushed by a falling tree.
A sudden storm can you leave you stranded. Be prepared.



Have a List of Emergency Contacts

Everyone, from your volunteers to full-time employees and management, should have access to a list of emergency contacts in the event of an emergency. Having an emergency contact list greatly reduces confusion and lets all people in your organization have a central place to communication in a crisis.


For your list, consider:

  • Leadership or management contacts -- Who are the top 3 people to call in an emergency.

  • Local contact information -- Fire, police, and ambulance are a must, but so are the main reception numbers for local hospitals, an approved list of plumbers, and an approved list of clean up specialists.

  • Contact information for every employee or volunteer -- Contact information should include their "first to contact" person, but also their preferred cell phone number and what social media they visit most often so you're not wasting time looking for contact information.




Have a Real Emergency Supply Kit On Site

Medical supplies are vital to an effective severe weather response. If an employee or visitor is injured, you may not be able to quickly go to a hospital. You need to have a medical supply kit on-site that is more than just bandages and aspirin. Consider a more advanced first aid kit that also includes more advanced items like:

  • Compression gauze

  • Trauma bandages

  • Nasopharyngeal airway kits

  • Lung decompression kits

  • Tourniquets

  • Aluminum splints


With more advanced tools, you should also consider yearly or even twice-yearly training for CPR and for medical training due to trauma. Push that every employee at least be certified with CPR training.


Finally, ensure your kit includes a supply of non-perishable food, bottled water, blankets, a radio, flashlights and batteries should you also lose power and need to stay onsite for an extended period.



Ambulance racing on a public street.
In a large storm, help could be hours or days away.



Keep an Inventory of Your Property

A property inventory is vital for any organization to have available when dealing with the aftermath of a storm that has caused damage to buildings and contents.  This should be kept off premises and in a readily-accessible place for quick reference and accurate reporting in making repairs or replacements after a significant or total loss.


Storms and tornadoes don't have to end your business. Be prepared with an asset list and the right insurance to make sure your organization continues.



Contact Loomis Insurance for Advice

At the Loomis Insurance Agency in Springfield, Missouri, our priority is to assist you in being more aware of how to prepare for severe weather and maintaining a safe environment.  Don't hesitate to contact us for support. 


Additional support to handle Midwest storms can be found at the US government's website: https://www.ready.gov.

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