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How Tornadoes Affect Businesses
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Tornadoes are among the most destructive and unpredictable weather events that can strike a community. They can do a lot of damage very quickly and the economic impact may be felt for a long time following the actual event. In fact, more and more areas of the country are reporting tornado activity, which means the problem is becoming more common and affecting many more people.
Twisters can inflict financial damage on a community in any number of ways, from crop damage to structural problems as well as insurance losses and lost revenue due to unforeseen downtime.
Of course, the most obvious effect of tornadoes, as with any severe weather event, is the damage done to the community and the basic structure of businesses located in the damage path. Tornadoes may pack winds in excess of 250 mph and that can rip apart pretty much any structure that it touches.
Even if a building is not wiped completely away, the damage done to the property will be considerable, requiring significant time and resources to repair and restore.
Higher insurance premiums may also be a result of tornado activity, as insurers’ loss reserves are tapped and, in many cases, maxed out. Increased instances of severe weather across the country have already put a strain on many insurers and the problem is only expected to get worse, especially in advance of any predicted active severe weather season.
Of course, not all effects stemming from tornadoes are bad ones since there are businesses that may actually benefit from the damage and loss. Rebuilding and repair efforts typically draw in workers from across the nation and some of this work may be long-term. Insurance companies have their work cut out for them in claims processing and will often take on additional manpower to handle the load. In addition, waste haulers, demolition companies, and skilled trades workers will be a part of the cleanup and repair process for tornado ravaged communities.
Companies providing building materials can usually expect a bump in business as the result of tornado damage and produce managers in neighboring counties or state may find their product in higher demand if the same crop was destroyed or curtailed in the tornado region.
Businesses should have an emergency plan in place that includes how to handle the situation if a tornado occurs during business hours when employees and customers may be present as well as what to do if a tornado hits.