Sioux Falls Tornadoes Spare Paulsen

September 16, 2019

On September 10, three tornadoes touched down in Sioux Falls, causing destruction throughout the city. While the Paulsen office was without power for about 12 hours—and our yard was a bit of a mess—we were fortunate to escape serious damage. Here are five takeaways from our experience:

  1. Establish a communication tree.
    While Paulsen was lucky to escape damage, the surrounding neighborhood was not so fortunate. Having a good communication plan with our team members allowed us to inform everyone about roads that were closed due to debris and downed power lines.
  2. Have a backup power source on hand.
    With power being out for 12 hours we needed an alternative to get our servers back up and running. Thankfully, we had a generator on site that allowed us to get the most essential equipment back online and complete necessary work.
  3. Clear dead trees from your property.
    This lesson we learned the hard way. A lot of the debris that filled the Paulsen yard was from dead or dying trees that surrounded our property. Had we cleared out some of them beforehand, we would have saved ourselves some time in cleanup!
  4. Free pizza will bring a lot of folks in to help.
    Paulsenites love pizza, and promising them a free lunch was an easy way to encourage the many team members who came out and helped cleanup the property. Our thanks go out to all who spent their morning hauling tree branches and leaves!
  5. Pickup trucks are a must!
    At the end of the day, we hauled six pickup loads of tree branches to the City’s tree branch drop-off site. Thanks to our three team members for volunteering their vehicles for clean-up duty!

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