Plan - Practice - Monitor - Act

What is Plan - Practice - Monitor - Act ?
Plan - Practice - Monitor - Act is an effective, comprehensive approach to severe weather preparedness. Each element is a part of the whole. If any piece is missing, you don't have a complete pie, and you won't have the same result.

How did Plan - Practice - Monitor - Act evolve?
Plan - Practice - Monitor - Act was born from such amazing success stories as the tornado that struck Parson's Manufacturing on July 13, 2004 and Van Wert, Ohio of November 10, 2002. These success stories show how a practical and thorough approach to severe weather can save lives.


  • Develop a plan for your circumstances (business, school, home, ball park, little league team, etc)
  • Know the threats in your situation. (Consider lightning, flood, flash flood, hail, blizzard, extreme heat/cold, tornado, extreme wind.)
  • Address each threat as it applies to your staff.
  • Consider time of day, different shifts, special needs.


  • Training meetings: Make sure everyone knows the plan
  • In house drills: Practice the plan
    • Evaluate time needed
    • Evaluate suitability of shelters
  • Severe Weather Awareness Week – tornado drill day for each state
  • Re-evaluate your plan


  • Designate a Weather Watcher.
    This is simply a person is responsible for keeping tabs on the weather. Depending on the circumstances, they might use NOAA Radio, monitor TV/radio for information, or even deploy local spotters. The Designated Weather Watcher is an important key to the success of any plan. They allow everyone else to go about their business by taking the responsibility of monitoring the weather for the group.


  • Be proactive
  • Establish criteria
    • Based on watches, warnings, reports, other?
    • Consider how much time you need for people to reach shelter
  • How will action be initiated?
    • Means of communication
    • Backup plan - especially in case of power failure
  • Where will people go?
  • Appropriate shelter: Recommended saferooms
    • Recommend Saferooms (visit FEMA for construction details for new construction or retrofitting)
    • Otherwise, lowest floor, interior of building, without windows
  • Enough space
    • Consider times when most people are present (for example - shift change)
    • What about visitors …esp. large groups? - People leading the group must have and know the plan
  • Enough time to get there
  • How will you communicate an “all-clear”?

The Plan - Practice - Monitor - Act strategy has been incorporated into these resources tailored for businesses and schools: is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.