Ford Motor Co. changes severe weather policy for North American plants

Typical, non-logical solution to a severe weather threat. Even if a larger area of concern is issued, where will these people go? I do not believe the plant(s) has a shelter? If you let people go early, who makes the decision? When do you let them go? An hour before the threat? Are you going to route people into a storm if you wait too long? They really need someone to advise them besides Accu-wx.
 
Oct 26, 2007
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Goodyear here in Topeka has a number of tornado shelters designated throughout the plant and a few outside under ground. When the sirens blow, everyone goes to their designated shelter. I would hope that Ford plants have shelters.
 
There are some very concerning statements in this article.

"The day after the tornado, Ford said its weather monitoring contractor AccuWeather determined that the storm 'was not tracking close enough to present a danger or threat to our employees or facility.' "

" 'While our workers were never in danger from the June storm, we listened to their concerns and revised our policy,' Felker said in an email."

Without doing any actual distance calculations, that tornado obviously came extremely close to impacting the plant. I can't see how any meteorologist could determine with 100% confidence that the tornado wouldn't impact the plant, as at least a portion of the mesocyclone would have passed over the plant, and that's what is going to show up on radar. Additionally, I'm not sure what storm mode produced this tornado, but in any case, you'd have to worry about an RFD with a supercell or enhanced winds on the southern edge of a QLCS mesovortex; both which could cause structural damage.
 

rdale

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Mar 1, 2004
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Typical, non-logical solution to a severe weather threat. Even if a larger area of concern is issued, where will these people go?
Most facilities of this size have more than adequate sheltering.

I do not believe the plant(s) has a shelter?
Why would you say that?

If you let people go early, who makes the decision? When do you let them go? An hour before the threat? Are you going to route people into a storm if you wait too long? They really need someone to advise them besides Accu-wx.
Why are you suggesting they dismiss workers early? That seems like a horrible idea.
 
When I worked for Nissan (albeit half a decade ago), the policy was take shelter any time there was a tornado warning within the county. Granted, that could mean there's one 20 miles away heading in another direction, but I would imagine by now they've revised a bit to work with the polygons instead of the old county based warnings. I can't speak for the Ford plant specifically, but I know we had plenty of adequate shelter at Nissan that took 5 minutes at most to get everyone into. All within the building, unlike when I worked for GE where you had to go outside to get to the shelters. Everyone was briefed where it was, and when there was severe weather forecast for the Nashville area, management would take time in the pre shift meeting to remind everyone of the procedures and where to go.
 
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Jun 1, 2008
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The purpose of business specific weather alerts is to take shelter. They do not to send home people, out into the storm. So the question is stop production and take shelter, or continue production.

Back in the county wide tornado warning days, one could conceivably stop production under clear skies - for a threat 20 miles away. Polygons help quite a bit. While safety is always first, the Company may want to avoid unnecessary shut-downs. In some cases stopping and starting (cycling equipment) incurs large costs and/or causes extra wear/tear on equipment. In all cases production is lost. Nobody is ignoring warnings though.

Look at the flip side. Often private vendors, with well-trained meteorologists and/or CCMs, can get a business extra lead-time for the affirmative warning. The vendor only has to watch its clients, not the whole world, which helps with lead-time. While the article above focuses on the production question, I want to note private vendors often promote safety with early warnings.

Finally I strongly believe the public should heed the NWS polygon based warnings, period. NWS has the best of the best meteorologists. If a TV met suggests rotation before a warning, also heed that alert. Err on the side of safety.