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Episode 110: Protective Measures for Tornadoes and Best Practices

In 2011, the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado tore through Alabama, forever changing the community. In this episode, Ken Horst, the assistant director of emergency management at the University of Alabama, shares this case study from his unique perspective as a first responder during the event and joining the University of Alabama emergency management team later that year. He also explains the measures that have been implemented in the decade since the event and how others can prepare for potentially devastating natural disasters. 

Horst has his master’s degree in public administration and is a certified emergency manager and executive fire officer. You can learn more about Horst and his work at

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In this episode, you will learn:

  • What happened during the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado in 2011
  • The lessons learned from the deadly EF4 tornado
  • What made this tornado so catastrophic
  • What protective measures can be added to preparedness plans to mitigate tornado disasters  
  • The difference between proactive and reactive organizations 

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Vanessa Mathews, host

Vanessa Mathews is the founder and chief resilience officer of Asfalis Advisors, where they are focused on protecting the legacy of the leaders they serve through business resilience. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Mathews developed global crisis management and business continuity programs for government and private sector organizations to include Lowe’s Companies, Gulfstream Aerospace, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Jon Seals, producer

Jon Seals is the editor in chief at Disaster Recovery Journal, the leading magazine/event in business continuity. Seals is an award-winning journalist with a background in publication design, business media, content management, sports journalism, social media, and podcasting.

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