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Tornado safety: Have a plan

Photo: Francis Lavigne-Theriault/iStockphoto

Tornadoes can happen at any time of year but, depending on where you live, certain months see more activity. Are your workers prepared for a tornado warning?

To ensure employees know what to do, the Federal Emergency Management Agency says employers should:

  • Check local weather via media reports, notifications from weather apps or emergency apps, and/or a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio.
  • Keep employees informed about weather conditions. Methods include text messages, emails, or announcements over an intercom or loudspeaker.
  • Develop a backup communication system in case the primary one fails, and test both systems regularly.
  • Make sure employees know where to seek shelter and where to assemble after a tornado passes and the warning expires.
  • Conduct regularly scheduled tornado drills.

Workers: If you’re outdoors and a tornado siren is going off, you need to quickly move to a sturdy building if one is available. If that’s not an option, lie down in an area lower than the elevation of the road and cover your head with your hands. Never stay in a vehicle during a tornado or try to outrun it because tornadoes often move in unpredictable paths.

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