Tornadoes are among the most powerful natural disasters that can wreak havoc on communities, organizations, and businesses. They can strike anywhere in the U.S. and leave behind destruction and devastation. While businesses cannot prevent tornadoes from occurring, you can take steps to minimize their impact. Here’s a closer look at the most devastating tornadoes in U.S. history and the lessons learned:
The Tri-State Tornado of 1925
The deadliest tornado in U.S. history, the Tri-State Tornado of 1925, struck Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925. The tornado had a path length of 219 miles and a maximum width of one mile. It claimed the lives of 695 people and injured more than 2,000 others. The storm destroyed over 15,000 homes, causing $16.5 million in property damage, or the equivalent of over $230 million today.
The Natchez Tornado of 1840
On May 6, 1840, the Natchez Tornado struck southwestern Mississippi, killing an estimated 317 people and injuring more than 1,000 others. The tornado had a path length of over 150 miles and caused widespread destruction and property damage.
The Tupelo Tornado of 1936
On April 5, 1936, a tornado struck Tupelo, Mississippi, killing 216 people and injuring more than 700 others. The twister had a path length of 200 miles and destroyed over 2,000 homes.
The Joplin Tornado of 2011
One of the deadliest tornadoes in recent U.S. history, the Joplin Tornado struck southwestern Missouri on May 22, 2011. It had a path length of 22 miles and was over a mile wide at its maximum point. The twister killed 161 people and injured more than 1,000 others, causing an estimated $2.8 billion in damages.
The deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history have taught business owners valuable lessons about disaster preparedness and emergency response. When a tornado strikes, your business must prepare better to protect your people, property, and assets. AccuWeather For Business can help you do that. Here are a few actions you can take:
- Follow up with your AccuWeather For Business meteorologist for one-on-one consultations to stay current about tornadoes moving through.
- Follow your company or organization's tornado drill and move to your shelter location.
- Stay away from windows and large open rooms such as cafeterias.
- Outside workers should look for a sturdy building to seek shelter in immediately; sheds and storage facilities are not safe.
- If you are in a work vehicle, staying inside is also unsafe. Drive to the closest shelter or sturdy building. If nothing is around, abandon your car and seek shelter in a low-lying area like a ditch.
Businesses with a plan and a risk mitigation service, such as AccuWeather SkyGuard® Warnings, can get the most advance notice, location-specific warnings, and access to a one-on-one consultation with a storm warning meteorologist to be better prepared. Organizations that use Skyguard receive an average of 16 minutes of advance notice compared to eight minutes from all other sources. The extra time allows businesses to execute their emergency plans and seek shelter before a tornado hits their facility.
Want to learn more on how to protect your business from the threat of tornadoes? Demo SkyGuard today.