Tornado season is here: is your business prepared?

Iowa lies inside Tornado Alley, a slew of states that experience a frequent number of tornados. May marks the start of when these storms peak – and just last month, tornados ripped through Iowa and Nebraska, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Is your business ready for a potential tornado? Here are a few things you can do to prepare and protect your business to minimize the damage and loss associated with a tornado.

Plan for the worst

While there’s no way to prevent a tornado, businesses can prepare by creating a thorough and detailed emergency plan. A good emergency plan lays out steps to take during an emergency to react to the threat. Tornados pose a threat to your business’ personnel and customers, property, and business continuity – the emergency plan in place for a tornado should have steps to protect these three categories.

Emergency plans will look different for each business, but as a baseline, they should identify a safe place to take shelter, policies on how to ensure all personnel, clients, and customers are accounted for, and procedures for addressing any hazardous material on-site.

Protect your people

As tornado season begins, ensure your personnel is familiar with the policies and procedures in your emergency plan. Assign clear roles to employees and host a tornado drill if needed. Posting signage detailing steps of the plan throughout your business will help direct clients and customers where to go and what to do in an emergency, outside of employee communication. Lastly, keep an emergency kit in the office equipped with food, water, first aid supplies, and safety blankets.

Protect your property

Iowa is all too familiar with the havoc tornados can wreak on your building and property, but there are a few steps you can take to minimize the damage. Reinforce vulnerable areas of your building, repair any damage, secure any loose outdoor gear, place vital equipment in a secured area of the building, and trim the trees near your building.

Protect your business continuity

In addition to an emergency plan, you should also have a business continuity plan in place. It’ll help your business recover from any property or income losses following the damages of a tornado. In your plan, include a crisis communication strategy, temporary work location (if needed), critical business operations, safekeeping and restoration of IT capabilities, and supply chain logistics.

Insure, insure, insure!

To fully prepare your business for a potential tornado, you need adequate insurance. Work closely with your agent or broker to assess your business’ tornado risks, ensuring your policy covers you fully – after all, you never know when a tornado could strike our state.


Insurance Information Institute

AmTrust Financial