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Are You Ready for Severe Weather?

While the summer months can be filled with a lot of sun and fun, it also brings with it the chance for severe thunderstorms. The United States experiences over 100,000 thunderstorms each year, and an average ten percent of these storms are classified as severe. Commonly formed from severe thunderstorms are tornadoes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year. They are quick but destructive, and therefore, it is important that your church is adequately prepared in the event of a severe storm.

Utilize a Safety and Security Team

In the event of an emergency, it is important to stay calm and organized. To be better prepared, consider establishing a Safety and Security Team, with one individual serving as the emergency coordinator for your organization. Use this team to develop a severe weather plan. Things to consider when developing a plan are procedures for monitoring weather, and training staff members, volunteers and other key people on appropriate emergency response and communication procedures.

Designate a Safe Place

Designate a place in your facility that is the safest when seeking protection during a severe thunderstorm or tornado. Place signs, instructions and maps throughout the building with directions to the safe place. It is always a good idea to practice safety drills regularly in order to test the effectiveness of these signs.

Critical Items to Have on Hand

To assist in an emergency, have the following items on hand in a safe place:

  • Blankets
  • Weather radios
  • First-Aid kit
  • Food and water
  • Mobile phones
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Emergency contact numbers

Keep Members Safe and Secure

It takes a minimal amount of time for a tornado to do significant damage to a community. Oftentimes, tornadoes appear so quickly that there is little time for warning, making it vital that your church has an action plan in place. As your organization establishes and maintains a Safety and Security Team and a severe weather action plan, be sure to evaluate and make changes as necessary. By taking the proper steps to be prepared, your church can help keep members safe and secure. For more information on tornado safety, view the SafeChurch Tornadoes fact sheet.

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.