How to get back to normal after a natural disaster

Follow these four steps to help your plant recover from a devastating accident.

By Jerry Melton and Travis Melton, Complex Chemical Co.

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If a natural disaster hit your business, would you be prepared? How would you recover from the damage to your infrastructure?

Unfortunately, we had to learn the real-life answers to these questions when, on April 24, 2010, a powerful tornado hit our chemical processing plant in Tallulah, La. A “tornado outbreak” — several tornados from the same weather system — ripped through four southern states, causing severe damage including multiple injuries and fatalities. When the tornado reached our plant, 14 employees were present. Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt (three people sustained minor injuries). However, the tornado devastated our entire 20-acre facility, as the lead photo shows.

Our family-owned company, Complex Chemical Co., manufactures antifreeze, brake fluid and viscosity improvement additives for oil. It has been in operation since 1974 but never before had experienced anything like this catastrophe. Fortunately, between preparations we had made in advance and actions we quickly took after the event, the damage was minimized and recovery was relatively swift. Still, without a crystal ball, no company can prepare for every eventuality nor can it fully protect itself from the immense power of nature. In the wake of the tornado, we learned about the reality of recovery and the efficacy of the measures we had taken in advance to protect our business.

Read the whole story on Chemical Processing

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