Did you know that tornadoes have been reported in every state? Severe weather is a persistent threat no matter where you live. It is important to know how your church can prepare and react before, during and after a severe weather event. This planning is especially important as the spring and summer storm season approaches, bringing with it potentially damaging severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
6 tips to keep your church and your property safe during severe storm season.
- Promote weather awareness: Encourage your congregation to be mindful of severe weather safety practices. Educate your team and members on the difference between a tornado and severe storm watch and warnings and suggest monitoring local radio stations or alert-enabled weather apps.
- Develop a plan: It is important to have a plan in place to ensure an efficient and effective response to severe weather. Use emergency planning resources such as EZ-Prep® or Ready Rating™ to develop a customized plan. Consider including the following:
- What to do before, during and after a severe weather event
- Communication during an event
- Responsibilities of staff, ushers and other volunteers
- Train ministry staff and volunteers: An effective plan requires effective communication and training. When a tornado or severe weather strikes, your people must know how to respond according to your plan. Share your plan with staff and members, and practice it by conducting training exercises.
- Develop storm shelters: Where will staff, members and guests go to weather the storm? Designate small, interior, windowless rooms on the lowest level of your building as safe zones. Mark these with signs and indicate their location on emergency procedure maps of your building.
- Prevent building damage: Maintenance and forward thinking can prevent damage during a storm. Do the following to protect your building:
- Reduce tree damage by trimming trees, especially branches hanging over buildings.
- Reduce roof damage by installing wind and hail resistant roof coverings.
- Secure windows and doors by checking latches and protecting stained glass.
- Secure loose items: Airborne debris during a tornado or severe storm can cause a large amount of damage. Prepare by repairing loose building components such as siding or fascia and secure other items such as outdoor furniture.
Church Mutual Insurance Company is committed to helping you protect the greater good. For more resources on severe weather preparedness, including a three-step action plan, a planning video and downloadable presentations to help keep your buildings, grounds, people and property safe, visit churchmutual.com.