The tornado that ripped through Joplin, Mo. on Sunday occurred before 5:00 p.m. In Alabama, it was about 3:00 p.m. when some of the deadliest tornadoes struck that state. If you only plan for home, you are only planning for half of the time you could be caught in a disaster.
Severe weather tips at work:
- Know your emergency plan at your place of work. You should know the safe shelter area for your office and the safest route to get to it from any area in the building.
- Your workplace should have someone designated to call for emergency services, coordinate moving people to safe areas, and to take a headcount of all employees. Be sure everyone knows who to turn to in emergency situations.
- Emergency kits should be positioned based on the layout of your building and locations of safe rooms. All kits should include basic necessities such as a weather radios, flashlights, extra batteries, water, non-perishable food, and first aid kits.
- Get training so that at least one person (depending on the number of people in your office) has current CPR certification and First Aid training. All employees should know the person or persons to contact to respond for CPR and First Aid needs.
- If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
- Do not park under overpasses during severe weather. It can make you harder to see and someone could easily crash into your vehicle. In a tornado, an underpass is one of the most dangerous places you can be.
- If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.
- Keep all emergency contact information on you at all times including local police and fire, your family, and your out-of-town family contact from your family communication plan.
- In case roads are closed or inaccessible, take time now to learn alternate routes and ways to get where you need to go. There are often multiple ways to reach a destination.
- Keep a local map with you in case you need to walk or take another form of transportation.
- While commuting, carry with you a small flashlight, dust mask and a pair of protective gloves. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, water, non-perishable food, emergency blanket, and first aid kit and emergency signals such as flares or a signaling flag.
Helpful Resources on RedCross.org