Downtown businesses work on storm preparedness plans

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – With severe weather season upon us, many businesses downtown are relying on each other in their storm preparedness plans with help from the Allen County Department of Homeland Security.

The Botanical Conservatory and Theater said they have plans in place in case of severe weather or a tornado strikes. Mitch Sheppard, Deputy Director for the Botanical Conservatory and Theater through the Fort Wayne Parks Department, said even though many businesses have their own plans, it’s important to have them on the same page with other downtown businesses.

“At any one time, there could be five or six very large events going on, so it’s important that we’re inter-coordinated in the event of a large scale emergency,” she said.

Many businesses have approached the Allen County Department of Homeland Security on how to implement the plans together.

“We like to see best practices,” said Director of Allen County Department of Homeland Security, Bernie Beier, describing businesses wanting to see how other severe weather plans work with other businesses. “Can you do some research; find out what other communities are doing, what similar businesses are doing.”

As a part of the plan with the Homeland Security, one business’s evacuation or shelter plan may involve using another business’s facility for safety.

There’s no telling when these new plans will be implemented.

Beier will be meeting with individual businesses to talk over the plans and how they should be implemented.

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