By Brian Gleason
In every season of the year, there is typically at least one natural disaster that could pose threat to your organization.
As the temperatures begin the rise and we prepare for the summer months ahead, now is the time to begin thinking about severe weather, including thunderstorms, tornadoes and the damage they cause.
Before and during thunderstorms
There are numerous steps a church can take prior to a storm that could minimize damage. Consider the following:
- Install lightning rods to new buildings. Older buildings should be inspected to determine if a lightning rod should be installed.
- Routinely trim dead branches off trees.
- Secure outdoor objects that can blow in strong winds.
- Keep a battery-powered radio available with extra batteries.
- Have a professional electrician install a commercial surge protector. Additionally, see that all electrical circuits are properly grounded.
- Clean gutters every spring and fall to prevent drainage problems.
Make sure all individuals on church property are inside the building during a storm. If lightning is striking, do not handle electrical equipment and turn off electrical appliances, such as air conditioners. Avoid water faucets and sinks, as metal pipes can transmit electricity. Learn more about electrical safety by downloading GuideOne’s e-book.
Tornadoes can cause intense destruction within a matter of minutes. It is crucial your organization is prepared to handle a tornado, especially if you have individuals in your building when a storm strikes.
For all severe weather situations, it is a good idea to designate a Safety and Security Team to develop response plans for tornadoes and other severe weather, as well as communicate and train any staff or volunteers necessary to properly execute the response plan. The plan should include information on monitoring weather reports, communication methods and designated safe locations in the building.
Damage following a storm
As you review your property for damage, use caution but respond quickly in order to prevent further loss. Look for items, such as loose or hanging limbs from trees, loose or missing shingles, leaks around windows or ceilings, and debris or obstacles that create tripping hazards.
Weather of all kinds can create significant problems for your organization. As we close in on the summer months, make sure your church is taking steps to prepare for thunderstorms and the possibility of tornadoes.
Keep your congregation safe. GuideOne Insurance offers commercial insurance solutions and best-in-class risk management resources specifically for your religious organization, because we know that’s what it takes to help you make positive change possible. Insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. Call today at 1.888.218.8561 to let us help further your mission.
Brian Gleason is the Senior Risk Manager at GuideOne Insurance, providing resources and consulting services to GuideOne clients.
Prior to his career at GuideOne, Brian spent 20 years in risk management for a Christian university in California. Brian has his MBA along with years of experience in insurance, enterprise risk management, occupational health and safety and emergency preparedness and response.