Using Mass Notification Systems to Limit Tornado Damage Risks

Natural disasters such as tornados, hail and even flooding can strike at a moment's notice, seldom leaving significant time to plan your response. Does your business continuity plan account for tornados? Including a tornado response plan can better prepare your organization during peak tornado season. Staying safe during a storm requires planning, equipping, training and ultimately execution of the defined strategy to protect lives and property from unnecessary loss. Use these proactive communication prep steps to reduce the overall risk to your organization in the event of an emergency.

Best Laid Plans

You've drilled your staff on what to do when a tornado is on the horizon. You've created plans, emailed them to your community and implemented security procedures that kick in immediately in the event of a tornado alert. However, it's a proven fact that tornadoes are one of the most dangerous natural weather phenomena simply because they can come up so quickly that you may have virtually no warning before needing to trigger your business continuity plans. Is your staff so well-educated and trained that they can execute even in the event of a surprise emergency? If not, having a proactive communication strategy in place may be your best bet to weathering the storm with the lowest possible human, technology and direct costs.

Staying Accountable

Providing your team with accountability procedures that immediately take effect when a tornado is looming helps ensure overall safety of employees and physical assets. Procedures should include:
  • Quick check-in procedures to determine where employees and other community members are currently located
  • Creation of an alarm system that can trigger pre-recorded email, SMS text or voice messages to your entire constituent base in minutes
  • Frequent testing of communication and physical accountability tools
  • Plan in place for individuals who speak languages other than English, or who may be hearing or visually impaired
  • Pre-assigned duties for key personnel, and the assurance that those individuals are fully versed on the requirements for their position
The complete devastation that can come within minutes of a tornado touching down is almost indescribable -- entire buildings can easily be demolished, with cars and trucks tossed around like a child's toy.

Seeking Immediate Shelter

Ensuring that leading employees are ready for whatever emergency comes their way is only the first step. It's also critical to ensure that your community members and full employee base are able to quickly and efficiently find shelter from the storm. Consistent communication about the best ways to seek shelter adds to the comfort levels of individuals and lessens the chance for panic that can only make matters worse. When you utilize digital communication and collaboration tools, you'll be able to provide specific audience groups with tailored information that will ensure they are as safe as possible during a storm or other emergency.

Business Continuity Procedures

Once your community is safely ensconced in a secure location, then business continuity procedures can begin, such as ensuring that any live power lines are away from water sources and humans and that cleanup crews can safely access remote locations for retrieval of individuals or crucial physical assets. For emergencies lasting longer than a few moments, communication will help with cleanup coordination, delivery and distribution of power tools and tips for your audience to avoid additional dangers. Bringing servers and other technology assets back online may take longer, depending on whether electricity is available at your location. If your organization is still without power after a massive storm, business continuity procedures help define how to provide service for customers and communication with vendors from alternate locations or via backup generators. Keeping your human, technology and physical assets safe during dangerous situations takes cohesive communication and tight coordination across teams. See how OnSolve's mass notification system provides you with the critical notifications and alerts that will ensure safety and business continuity. Contact us today at 866-939-0911 or request a free demo online.


OnSolve is a leading critical event management provider that proactively mitigates physical threats, allowing organizations to remain agile when a crisis strikes. Using the most trusted expertise and reliable AI-powered risk intelligence, critical communications and incident management technology, the OnSolve Platform enables enterprises, SMB organizations and all levels of government to detect, anticipate and mitigate physical threats that impact their people, places and property. With billions of alerts sent annually and proven support for both the public and private sectors, OnSolve is used by thousands of entities to save lives, protect communities, safeguard critical infrastructure and enable agility for the organizations that power our economy.