4 Tips for Using Mass Notification Systems to Limit Tornado Damage Risks

Roughly 1,000 tornadoes are reported in the U.S. in an average year. These violent storms can bring extreme wind that sends debris flying into the air at a moment's notice. Does your organization have a business continuity plan in place to deal with these dangerous storms?

Without a strategy in place, everyone has to think on their feet while handling the stress of the moment.  A critical event management strategy supported by an effective mass notification system can better prepare your organization to handle peak tornado season. 

Staying safe during a storm requires planning, equipping, training and ultimately executing a defined strategy to protect your people and operations. When severe weather strikes, these four proactive mass communications tips will help reduce risk and mitigate damages.

1. Create a Preparedness Strategy

Ideally, you've drilled your staff on what to do when a tornado is on the horizon, including shelter-in-place and evacuation procedures. You've created plans, shared them with your staff and implemented security protocols that kick in as soon as a tornado alert is received.

However, tornadoes can form quickly, so you may have little to no warning. Will everyone be able to execute when pressed for time and under stress? A proactive communications strategy that includes training and mass texting capabilities keeps everyone connected. It’s the best way to weather the storm and reduce the damage.

2. Ensure Accountability

Accountability procedures and a mass texting service are both necessary to ensure the overall safety of all stakeholders. They should include:

  • Pre-assigned duties and training for key personnel, especially those responsible for using the mass notification system to send alerts and monitor responses
  • A mass communication system capable of initiating multimodal notifications through any device, including phone, email, SMS, desktop alerts, voice and more
  • Check-ins to determine where employees and other community members are currently located
  • Frequent testing of two-way communications and physical accountability systems
  • The ability to set language preferences and accommodate users with hearing or visual impairments
  • Geo-targeted alerts to notify only those stakeholders in the area of impact

3. Communicate in Real Time

Because tornadoes are unpredictable, it’s important to be able to give updated instructions in real time with a mass text messaging system. This gives impacted individuals the best chance to quickly and efficiently find shelter. Consistent drills about how to do so and how to communicate during these times can help maintain calm and lessen the risk of panic. When you utilize digital communications and collaboration systems, you can provide the right information to the right people at the right time, keeping them as safe as possible should a tornado strike.

4. Maintain Business Continuity

Once everyone has moved to a secure location, business continuity procedures can begin. For emergencies lasting longer than a few moments, mass texting will help with cleanup coordination, delivery and distribution of relief supplies, and tips to help everyone avoid additional dangers. While servers and other technology are offline, a reliable system for critical communications is an invaluable resource.  

During extended power outages, business continuity procedures help define how to provide service for customers and communication with vendors from alternate locations or via backup generators. Keeping everyone safe and operations running requires cohesive communications and organization-wide coordination. Mass notifications enable both.

Tornadoes are capable of complete devastation in just a few moments. When every minute counts, an effective mass notification system is a lifeline. To see it in action, contact us today to request a free demo.


OnSolve® proactively mitigates physical threats, allowing organizations to remain agile when a crisis strikes. Using trusted expertise and reliable AI-powered risk intelligence, critical communications and incident management technology, the OnSolve Platform allows organizations to detect, anticipate and mitigate physical threats that impact their people and operations.