More than 40 tornadoes ripped through six states across the Midwest and the Southeast United States this past weekend, leaving devastation in their path. The storms leveled homes, destroyed businesses, and killed at least 70 people in Kentucky.
This series of tornadoes is just the latest in an increasing trend for the region. Over the past forty years, tornado frequency has increased significantly in the Midwest and Southeast, and researchers say climate change may enhance this trend further in the coming years.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issues over 2,000 tornado warnings each year. Local NWS meteorologists send these alerts when a tornado is either reported by spotters or identified on radar as posing a serious threat to lives and properties in its path. While these alerts are critical to relaying immediate danger, the average lead time is only between eight and 18 minutes.
Weather Risk Management and Proactive Adjustment
While short-term alerts are critical to empowering individuals to take action and seek immediate protection, businesses, in particular, aren’t able to secure their assets as quickly. Organizations can no longer rely on reactionary measures to effectively prepare for devastation of this scale.
That’s why preparing for severe weather in advance and making proactive adjustments to operations with the right technology is critical to mitigating safety, property, and continuity risks. In fact, one National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) study found that every $1 invested in disaster mitigation saves $6 on average for post-disaster recovery.
Every industry is impacted by extreme events like tornadoes, and organizations can use weather intelligence to reduce risks in a number of ways:
Municipalities & Government
Extreme weather presents significant dangers for local governments. Without adequate warning, communities are left to react hastily to protect resident safety, identify infrastructure vulnerabilities, and effectively allocate resources.
Long-term weather forecasting allows for:
- Improved emergency preparedness
- Faster response plans
- More accurate projections for city impact
Severe wind events, such as nearby tornadoes, have serious consequences for truck drivers, specifically. Powerful cross-winds can result in tractor trailer accidents, leading to serious injury, delay, and revenue loss.
Unlike short-term alerts, a weather security platform can alert drivers ahead of time in order to:
- Reduce the risk of an accident
- Prepare for delays
- Adjust or cancel routes
- Seek shelter
Extreme weather can also cause dangerous and costly effects for the aviation industry. High wind speeds and gusts can damage aircrafts, change visibility, and cause widespread delays.
Adjusting operations ahead of time based on advanced weather data can allow aviation professionals to:
- Protect equipment
- Adjust flight rules
- Ensure runways are free from debris
Take Action Today
No matter your industry, extreme weather events like the recent tornadoes present a serious threat to your business.
Ready to make more informed decisions in advance? Take our free climate risk assessment now.