QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
Many of us have emergency plans for our families, detailing what to do in case of severe weather. But what if you're not home? Some local businesses are taking the time to review their own procedures, to protect both their employees and their customers.
County Market manager Aaron Dieckhoff was at work last year, when straight line winds tore off the back section of the wall at the business next door.
"That was an alert for us and our power went out, and we got people to where they needed to be that day," Dieckhoff says.
He says both employees and shoppers made their way to the very back of the store to the conference room, following part of a severe weather preparedness plan. It's a plan they still have in the store today. The first step is having a working weather radio, so associates know when to take shelter.
"We'll get over the intercom, alert customers and alert our associates so they know and are able to assist people in the steps to get them in the right areas, if the tornado is in our area," Dieckhoff said.
Adams County emergency management director John Simon says all businesses should have a plan, especially to lay out where to go in the building if a storm is approaching.
"Find an interior room with no exterior windows, a room on the lowest level of the business," Simon says. "Avoid large rooms, large span structures, those can really be weaker and not have the structural stability."
Simon says this week is a great opportunity to review that plan of action, so everyone is ready.
"Who has certain responsibilities in that plan, who has to carry out X, Y, and Z per say, in order to keep their employees and the public safe," Simon says.
Dieckhoff says last year's storm was a real eye opener, but now he's more confident on what to do.
"I was frightened by it, and now I'm more prepared for when it comes again," Dieckhoff says.
Simon says businesses that might not have a detailed plan can visit ready.gov, where they can find some sample plans and other resources to help them get started.