For most healthcare organizations located in the mid-west, tornados are one of our greatest vulnerabilities.

Tornado watches and warnings come often and because we are so accustomed to hearing these announcements, many of us become apathetic to responding in an effective manner to the threat.

Apathy creates mistakes. In the healthcare setting, a mistake may create injuries or loss of life. Below are a few tips to engage your staff in embracing the importance of tornado preparedness and their specific duties to react/respond to the event.

Include tornado warning preparedness presentations in department staff meetings

  • Training given to individual departments will help them identify their department specific plans such as:
    • Tornado Shelter location
    • Primary and Secondary Evacuation Route
    • Total Evacuation Meeting Location
    • Process for Staff Accountability after an Evacuation

Conduct a department specific functional drill using staff as mock victims for evacuation

  • Practice your evacuation equipment with the staff and allow them to as mock victims so they may understand how it feels for a patient to be transported down stairs in an evacuation device

Present a Tornado Table-top exercise to you emergency preparedness committee or your organization’s leadership

  • Questions presented with inject in the table-top will get the group to consider if enough is being done to prepare
  • A sample tornado table-top exercise is attached to this document
    • You may edit as necessary to fit your needs

<download the .ppt slide show here>