I am sure we are all aware of the severity of Tornadoes in Oklahoma from recent storms and there is no need to mention that we should all take these storms seriously.
Unless, of course you just moved here from a state that has normal weather patterns. In which case, please read on with much concern to detail and with a bit of “okie” sarcasm!
When a storm catches us at home we have a good idea of what we plan to do, but what about at work?
Specialists in tornado data indicate that we have an average of 15 minutes to seek shelter once a tornado has been sited in the area. These are indications in a thunderstorm that things might get a little crazy!
- A wall cloud – which is a lowering of clouds during a thunderstorm. That is a bad sign.
- Large hail – another uh-oh sign!
- Clouds with a greenish look to them – I kid you not!
- A roaring noise similar to a train – and you are nowhere close to train tracks!
- Rotation and funnel shaped clouds – anything out of the scene of Twister will do!
Here are some simple steps to take to prepare for the worst during a tornado.
- Hold a safety meeting to inform all workers about your companies tornado safety guidelines. Everyone should know what safety procedures are in place in the case a tornado should occur.
- Pick a room or several rooms that will be used as safety shelters during the tornado. Your office building should have a map of where that room is.
- Practice a scheduled tornado safety drill often. This will give anyone with questions or concerns a chance to voice them. It will also help everyone to remain calm during an actual emergency.
- Select a couple of individuals to be the ones to turn off the lights and/or gas to prevent electrical fires and gas leaks.
So now that you know where to go what do you take with you?
I am glad you asked! Feel free to add your own items to this list but these are just a suggestion of things to take with you.
- Water – at least a gallon per person. The red cross suggests you store enough water for 3 days. This is a precautionary measure in case you are stranded and waiting to be rescued.
- A first aid kit. Make sure there are bandages, splints, and wraps along with alcohol swabs, antiseptics, and medications such as aspirin.
- Sweaters and socks just in case someone gets wet and needs to change.
- Canned foods that do not need to be cooked along with canned fruits and tuna for good sources of energy. Energy bars are also a good idea.
- A can opener!!
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- A battery operated radio to keep in touch with what is happening around your area.
- If an employee is on a medication that they must take daily see if they can keep a 3 day supply in the building. There is nothing more dangerous than a person who requires medication everyday not being able to take it.
These are just some tips on what to start thinking about during a tornado event in your area. The planning you do today could be the very thing you will be thankful you did in the event you are struck with a calamity. Be prepared and stay safe!