Tornadoes are natural disasters that cannot be controlled or avoided. So how can business owners prepare for tornadoes and minimize wind-related damage? The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) conducted research to find the answers.
Tornadoes pose a serious threat to business structures because many of the structures are not built to withstand the lateral and uplift forces associated with this type of wind storm. Winds of the strongest category of tornado can reach speeds in excess of 250 mph, about twice the force of the strongest hurricanes. Yet structures built in areas frequently hit by hurricanes are built to stand up to the winds and those built in areas prone to tornadoes often are not.
The IBHS has compiled a list of measures businesses can take to reduce the risk of loss from a tornado. These measures also offer protection from other wind-related storms and thunderstorms. The IBHS recommends that businesses assess their risk of tornadoes using a map they have created, which shows areas at highest risk of tornadoes, and then take appropriate action to minimize their risk.
Here’s a sample of the IBHS’s checklist for minimizing risk of loss from tornadoes:
Protect employees by
- having an emergency plan in place and hold regular tornado drills
- providing a safe room (away from exterior walls and windows) or basement for shelter
- tuning into a local weather channel to monitor the situation
Protect the business property by
- working with the contractor on new construction to include high wind rated materials and a safe room or basement
- retrofitting existing structures with features such as braces, fasteners, and anchors
The time to guard against any loss is before it happens. If your business is in a tornado-prone area, take the necessary steps to reduce your chances of loss from tornado damage. Schwartz Insurance Group has the coverage options and expertise to guide you as you safeguard your business structure and employees.