Metric Field Safety Insight

Tornado Season

As we push along during the spring months, being aware of the elemental changes due to weather is critical to planning field activities. While April showers bring May flowers, heavy rain and warm weather is a recipe for thunderstorms and tornadoes. Tornadoes are a serious threat for many areas across the country. There is an average of 1,000 confirmed tornadoes a year in the United States according to NOAA. Many of these tornadoes occur in the same geographical areas each year, however many places across the United States have the right conditions for a tornado (especially the flat topography of Indiana). It is important to know about tornadoes and what to both at home and work if there is one.

Some Tornado Statistics (according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration)

  • The top three states that have the highest average of tornadoes a year is Texas, Kansas, and Florida.
  • Tornadoes mostly occur in the months between April and July in the United States.
  • In 2018, a record low 10 people were killed from tornadoes. In 2015 however, there were 36 deaths.
  • The Insurance Information Institute reports the average insured loss per year due to tornadoes is $7.78 billion.

Have a plan for when a tornado threat is in your area. Pick a room in your home or office where it is safe to go during a tornado. Areas such as basements or an interior room on the lowest floor is the best place to take shelter during a tornado. At work, know how you will be notified by the company that tornado conditions could be in the area. Know where the tornado shelter is onsite or if the company uses one in the community. Some companies who do not have a tornado shelter onsite will send everyone home as soon as there is a tornado watch in effect. Knowing what to do and executing the emergency plan is essential to protecting yourself and those around you and the fellow coworkers you work around.

  • Are You Prepared?

    Is there a designated place to retreat to in case of a tornado warning?

    Has there been a mock drill done this past year?

Stay Safe!

Author: Kristopher Jenkins, MS, GSP, REP, CSHM
Author: Kristopher Jenkins, MS, GSP, REP, CSHMEnvironmental Health & Safety Specialist