Roundtable: Fire Department Response to Tornadoes

Previously I asked a Roundtable question inquiring as to what policy your fire department has concerning tornado procedures as it relates to protecting you and your firefighters if a tornado strikes your station while you are on duty. 

As you are aware, many areas in "Tornado Alley" have been devastated recently by tornadoes. 

While writing this, I saw a report that conditions are ripe for a possible tornado in Virginia over the next few days. Two twisters touched down in New York City last September. Just because you are not "in the alley" does not mean you are not vulnerable.

I hope your department has a tornado policy that covers protecting you when it strikes and, as important, what you are expected to do immediately after one strikes. But I know fire departments and would venture to guess that more departments lack a policy concerning tornadoes than possess one.

Please comment and post a link to your department's policy, if you have one, concerning tornadoes. Readers that lack a policy can view those posted and hopefully begin the process of creating one. 

Roundtable: Please post a link to your department's tornado policy or paraphrase its contents so others can read and develop their own.

Register and log in to the Fire Engineering Web site and leave your comments below.

Skip Coleman: Firefighting RoundtableJohn "Skip" Coleman retired as assistant chief from the Toledo (OH) Department of Fire and Rescue. He is a technical editor of Fire Engineering. a member of the FDIC Educational Advisory Board; and author of Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer (Fire Engineering, 1997), Managing Major Fires (Fire Engineering, 2000), Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer, Second Edition (Fire Engineering, 2008) and Searching Smarter (Fire Engineering 2011) and 2011 recipient of the FDIC Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award.


Dan Rigdon, Assistant Chief,
Central County Fire & Rescue, St Peters MO

We do not have a policy but are looking for sample SOGs to develop from. We have six stations and one station was hit by a tornado injuring one firefighter. We have had discussions and making it a priority to have a policy in place to protect our firefighters.

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