Severe Weather Planning for Businesses

Emergency Management

Emergency Management

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Severe Weather Planning for Businesses

Build your emergency plan today with these steps.

What's My Role in Preparedness? A Business Approach

Why is preparedness important for my business?

Businesses face a wide variety of hazards which can impact or interrupt your operations.

  • Natural disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes, and damaging winds.
  • Health hazards like widespread sickness, like the flu keeping employees home.
  • Human-caused/technological disasters like gas line breaks, accidents, power outages, equipment failure and acts of violence.

What is my role, as a business, in preparedness?

Each business can takes steps to lessen the impact of an emergency on their staff, customers and operations.

  1. Identify what risks you face.
  2. Develop an emergency plan. This doesn't need to be super fancy; see the steps below.
  3. Train your staff on how to execute your emergency plan.
  4. Test your plan! Yes, we encourage you to actually do what your plan says you'll do.
  5. Make any needed changes and set a schedule to review and test your plan at least annually.


Getting Your Warning

  • Identify how you will receive severe weather information (More than one way is encouraged):
  • Designate at least one main person and a back up to receive the notification
    • Multiple shifts/sites: Be sure to plan for each shift/site
  • Identify ways to continue to receive updates while taking shelter
    • NOAA Weather Radio and/or AM/FM Radio

Notifying Employees and Visitors

Define the process for notifying all employees and visitors.

  • When to notify: severe thunderstorm or tornado watch or warning
  • How will you notify employees and visitors?
  • How will you account for employees and visitors when you take shelter?

Designate a Shelter

Basic shelter guidance:

  • Identify a room(s) on the lowest level of the building, in an interior room, with no windows
  • Be sure it can hold your employees and visitors
  • Label your shelter(s) with some kind of signage

Training and Exercise

Your plan can only be effective if everyone knows how to put it into action. At your next staff meeting, discuss your plan and practice it. You should also determine a regular time to review it with employees.

Basic Preparedness Kit

Once you take shelter, plan ahead for needs on your employees and visitors. Collect basic supplies to keep in or near your shelter.

We recommend having some basic supplies in your designated shelter.

  • Flashlight w/ extra batteries
  • Basic First Aid Kit
  • NOAA WX Radio and/or AM/FM Radio
  • **List of employees and their contact information in case of an emergency

Other Items to Consider

Your emergency plan is the start of getting your business ready for an emergency - both specific to your business or a community-wide disaster. Next, consider working through a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). This plan covers any type of business interruption - fire flood, tornado, power outage, etc. Here are just a few of the questions that should be considered and put into a COOP.

  • What will you do when your business is interrupted - short term or long term?
  • What's most important to get up and running?
  • Can you operate from another location?
  • Are your business files backed up off site or online?
  • Have you reviewed your insurance policy and do you understand what it covers?
  • What happens if your business is damaged, and you must close to a time?
  • How do you notify employees? Will they continue to be paid?
  • How will you notify suppliers of this change?

We want to help make sure you are ready to recover following an emergency. Check out this guide or contact our staff to assist you.

There's help!

If you have questions or would like assistance with these plans, contact our office today! Staff will be happy to assist you!