The United States experiences over 100,000 thunderstorms each year, and an average ten percent of these storms are classified as severe. Commonly formed from severe thunderstorms are tornadoes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year. Take care that your church is adequately prepared for the storm season.
Steps to Prepare your Church for Storm Season
Designate a Safety and Security Team, or an emergency coordinator for your church.
- Empower the Security Team or person to develop a response for tornadoes and other emergencies.
- Have someone available to monitor the radio if the weather look threatening in order to be ready to respond if a tornado warning is issued.
- Design a communication method to reach everyone in the facility with instructions.
Designate a Safe Place for the Storm
- Designate a place in your facility that is the safest when seeking protection during a severe thunderstorm or tornado.
- Place signs, instructions and maps throughout the building with directions to the safe place.
- Post instructions and maps throughout the facility with directions.
- It is always a good idea to practice safety drills regularly in order to test the effectiveness of these signs.
Secure Critical Items for Storm Season
To assist in an emergency, have the following items on hand in a safe place:
- Weather radios
- First-Aid Kit[s]
- Food and Water
- Mobile phones
- Emergency Contact Numbers
Prepare your Church Property before the Storm Season
- Have dead branches and trees removed.
- Bring in or tie down all outside furniture or loose items.
- Keep gutters and drains clean.
- Have your roof inspected annually to ensure flashing and shingles are secure.
- Know how to turn off gas and electric.
- Review your insurance policy to confirm that all buildings are listed.
After the Storm
- Assess the damage, take photos if possible.
- Protect your property from further damage with tarps or wood.
- Contact people needed to secure the facility (building contractors, utilities companies, etc.).
- Contact your insurance company.