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Prepping for potential tornadoes

Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:10 AM | Deleted user

Did you know that the United States has the greatest frequency and most severe tornadoes in the world? Minnesota has seen a tornado in every month from March through November. Late spring and early summer are the most active seasons for tornados in Minnesota, which makes right now tornado season. Your business needs to be prepared for these powerful and destructive events.

Minnesota is on the northern border of what’s known as “Tornado Alley,” the region where tornadoes occur most frequently in the United States. This may not be a distinction to be proud of, but it’s certainly one to prepare for. The best place to start is at the very beginning.

Building construction

If you’re building your business from the ground up, literally, you want to be sure to use proper construction techniques and keep all construction and materials up to current codes. FEMA has found that enhancing construction minimizing building damages in tornadoes.

Plan ahead

Sever weather including tornadoes can develop quickly. Planning ahead is essential to reacting quickly and effectively when a tornado strikes. Practice tornado drills in your offices and make sure you have a designated safe place for employees to take shelter.

Be prepared to act

Tornado sirens don’t always give enough warning when a threat is present. That means that your organization needs to be paying attention to weather threats and be prepared to act quickly when a real threat is detected. A planned response for how your organization will handle tornado warnings versus tornado sightings will help prepare everyone for action with enough time to get to shelter.

Reacting quickly requires that you understand your community’s warning system and you have a way to monitor weather closely.

Protect you assets

In the event that a tornado does disrupt your business, it’s important that you have an up-to-date inventory of all your equipment. Regularly backing up data including tax, accounting, payroll and employee information will help you get back up and running more quickly.  And of course, keep those backed up files in a safe off-site location.


No matter what you do, you cannot prevent a tornado from striking your business. However, you can make sure your insurance policy includes tornado damage. Insurance can cover necessary costs of getting back up and running or even relocating your business if need be.

In Minnesota, “if” a tornado is less the question than “when”. Preparing your business in advance to react to the threat of a tornado could mean the difference between losing valuable assets and lives and surviving the storm.

Have you been through a tornado? What advice can you add? 

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