Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tornado Safety at the Office

Later this week, tornadoes are possible in the High Plains. So, my latest article at Answers.Com is about tornado safety rules for the workplace.

Of course, not everyone works indoors. There are a number of considerations for outdoor shelters that depend on the type of work being done.

Regardless of whether it is a tornado, lightning, hail, high winds, severe blowing dust, or other hazard, outdoor workers must have nearby safe refuge, plus a failsafe way to receive warnings.


  1. Hi Mike, I was reading the NLSI advice on lightning safety outdoors. I do not understand their line of reasoning on point 3, which I quote below.

    Standing next to a building, under a roof overhang will keep you dry but if the building is struck then you represent a low resistance, perhaps the lowest resistance path to ground. You can expect to take your share of current. I see little difference between their suggestion and hiding underneath a lone tree. Both seem very dangerous, even compared with option 4, your last resort option.

    I do agree that if there are a number of buildings, you may be able to find some safety under a roof overhang because the chances of THAT building getting hit will be reduced. It's about the same as walking in the woods, your only hope is that the trees that you are near aren't the ones that get hit.

    They talk about a single building. In my opinion that's like hiding underneath a lone tree. A great place not to be.

    Am I missing something or are they giving out bad advice?

    On another note, I purchased and enjoyed When the Sirens Went Silent as well as your book on "How Science Tamed the Weather" Good reads, time well spent.
    3) If the only nearby structure is locked, seek an overhanging roof, where possible.
    4) If you are caught with no shelter of any type nearby, crouch to the lowest possible position, avoiding all nearby metal objects.

  2. Hi Scott, glad you enjoyed "Warnings" and "Sirens."

    The theory is that, unless you are touching the building, it will more readily conduct the current into the ground than through the air and into you. Yes, as it says, you will get some current but not a direct hit.



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