On March 1, the first EF4 tornado of the year ripped across Missouri and Illinois. Then on March 6 to 7, one of the worst tornado outbreaks in history sent 63 tornadoes tearing across the Central US in just nine and a half hours. Nineteen people were injured from Oklahoma to Ontario and $6.7 billion in damages incurred due to the tornadoes. So what can your organization do for March 2018 to reduce the impact of twisters during tornado season?
Let’s take a look back at the biggest losses from the tornado outbreak that hit Perryville, Oak Grove, and dozens of other Central Plains cities. During the first two tornadoes that whipped through on March 1, there were four fatalities and 38 injuries, many of which occurred in the aftermath of the tornado. As noted, this day was when the first major EF4 tornado touched down for the year; an EF5 is the most damaging, and an EF4 produces winds of up to 200 mph resulting in devastation.
Then by March 6-7, the number of fatalities dropped to zero and the injuries were reduced—even though the tornado count went from two to 63. There are two main reasons why there weren’t more deaths in the second round of tornadoes. First, among the 63 tornadoes on the 6th and 7th, an EF3 was the most severe of the twisters.
Secondly, the awareness from the first round of tornadoes most definitely prompted emergency response teams and individuals to be on high alert for pending threats. What can community leadersr be doing to help minimize safety risks during tornado season?
First of all, an emergency team should focus on preventative measures. Protecting the individuals begins with preparing them for the inevitable. Take note that the tornadoes that tore through the Central states last March were right in the path of Tornado Alley. These states, cities, and communities are well acquainted with emergency preparedness in the wake of a tornado. However, that does not reduce the need to actively practice and prepare for the pending tornadoes and severe weather in March.
When citizens and businesses have an emergency notification system in place, that’s a great start. However, emergency response teams need to actively and routinely test out this system. Running regular tests offers a wealth of benefits.
To start with, a test of the emergency notification system makes certain it is running smoothly and as desired. By testing the system it also allows the team to identify any holes or loose ends that can be improved upon. This active engagement ensures that in the face of a tornado, the notification system will be optimized for key performance. Those few seconds gained through system testing can mean life or death for individuals.
During testing, there is the possibility that your organization will decide it is time to update your emergency notification software. Here at OnSolve, we offer the latest technology and most advanced software solutions in the realm of emergency notifications. We work with government agencies, communities, mega corporations, and small businesses.
Every organization, whether it is in the public or private sector, needs to evaluate the risks that threaten the lives and property of stakeholders. Communication is a key element of any crisis response plan before, during and after an event occurs.Download The White Paper