Tornadoes Hit Hard: Safeguard with Critical Event Management Technology

Severe weather events continue to dominate the news cycle, both for their severity and unpredictability. Take tornadoes, for example: During the month of April 2024, the U.S. experienced at least 300 tornadoes, the second-highest month on record. And the locations of tornado reports are also raising eyebrows. On April 19, a tornado occurred near Anchorage; while it was technically a land spout, it’s a rare occurrence, with only a few others documented in Alaska since 1950.

While meteorologists can make predictions about tornado patterns for the remainder of 2024 (2023 saw a migration east to Dixie Alley), only time will tell. What we do know is weather events like tornadoes threaten every organization’s ability to keep their people safe and secure. This is due to the fundamental nature of weather as a dynamic risk.

A Tale of Dynamic Risk

A dynamic risk is one in which the ultimate harm is different than the initially expected harm. In these scenarios, leaders most often find themselves saying, “I was expecting Risk A, but then we got hit by Risk B.” What does this look like? One organizational leader recently gave a noteworthy example.

On a Friday morning, management noticed a number of workers had not shown up, which resulted in a major staffing shortage. Shortly thereafter, they found out a tornado had struck the night before, in a neighborhood where a majority of staff resided. Because the weather had stabilized and crews were already remediating damage and getting utilities back online, the organization assumed their staffing shortage would be quickly resolved. Unfortunately, in the days following, power outages and gas leaks necessitated another round of evacuations, displacing workers well into the following week.

The takeaway? One weather event can trigger other issues you may not have anticipated. Don’t underestimate the impact of secondary and tertiary threats on your organization.

Raise Your Level of Tornado Preparedness

Use this resource center to evaluate your preparedness and strengthen your overall resilience when managing the impact of tornadoes.

Keeping Employees Safe and Informed

Without safe, healthy and confident employees, operations grind to a halt. Our mobile world is steadily increasing the overlap between work and life, which raises the stakes on duty of care. Where previously its main focus was travel for work and international operations, it now incorporates the growing number of employees who work from home, as well as those who have returned to the office and those following the hybrid model.

Each of these areas requires careful consideration to keep workers safe when severe weather, such as a tornado, strikes:

  • Operations in brick-and-mortar facilities: Will they remain safe during severe weather?
  • Commutes to and from the workplace: What if roads are impassable?
  • Travel required for work: How will you monitor the status of air and train transit?
  • Online security: Can you guarantee the safety of personal data while people work virtually?
  • Physical, mental and emotional well-being: Are you able to check in regularly and during a crisis?

Now is the time to ask these questions to gauge your organization's readiness if you haven't already. Because a preparedness gap exists, according to the 2024 OnSolve Global Risk Impact Report. More than half (56%) of executives surveyed said their top priority is preparing for a physical threat crisis that puts employee safety or operations at risk. Yet only 23% said they are proactive about identifying risk.

Critical Event Management Makes Tornado Resilience a Reality

Technology can help organizations be more proactive in keeping employees safe and informed before, during and after severe weather events like tornadoes by enabling the following:

  1. Monitor the risk landscape and keep your people apprised of changes that may affect their safety and operational continuity.
  2. Educate your people about existing and predicted threats and how to prepare for them.
  3. Communicate with everyone before, during and after a critical weather event.

The right critical event management technology will help you manage these priorities, swiftly and seamlessly by leveraging key capabilities. Risk intelligence can help you more accurately pinpoint locations with increased vulnerability to severe weather. By considering comprehensive factors such as topography, population density, housing composition and existing infrastructure, risk intelligence can better analyze where, when and how organizations and communities should focus. With a mass notification system, you can send alerts promptly, in your recipients’ preferred mode (such as text, voicemail, email, desktop alerting and in-app notification). Delivery notifications, read-receipts and send-failure reports let you know who has and hasn’t received your updates.

For ongoing process improvement, your critical event management platform should also include an audit trail of all communications related to a critical event. This helps maintain accountability during the event and enables a thorough after-actions review in its aftermath. In addition, it’s a valuable resource for legal compliance.

The bottom line is mutual – you and your workers depend on each other for economic stability. Trust and technology go hand in hand when you have the right system to keep everyone connected and strengthen organizational resilience

Download our Tornado Preparedness Kit to learn more.


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.