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June 10, 2014

Hurricane Safety Tips: Are You Prepared?

Hurricane466310885It seems like every season brings its own special flavor of weather-related troubles, and, for many areas around the Atlantic or Gulf Coast, June ushers in the beginning of hurricane season. 

There are a number of hurricane hazards associated with these powerful storms. At NOAA’s National Hurricane Center website, they list phenomena such as “storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents” among the hurricane’s many challenges and emphasize the critical importance of having a safety plan in place for you, your family, and your property.

Ready.gov lists a number of “before, during, and after the storm” suggestions that anyone living in hurricane zones should familiarize themselves with. Let’s take a quick look today at what you can do now to prepare for summer’s big storm events:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  • Be ready to cover your windows with storm shutters or cut-to-fit plywood boards.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.

Know the lingo
One of the best ways to prepare is knowing the difference between a “weather watch” and a “weather warning.”

The National Weather Service explains that:

A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. Monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.

A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring or it is about to occur at any moment. This is the time to take action.

For the workplace
Bad weather doesn’t always wait until after work hours to hit. Your employees and your business can also be impacted by weather disasters such as hurricanes and tropical storms. Many of the homeowner tips listed in this post also apply to your work facilities.

And, as you know, a little training can go a long way to mitigate the consequences of a disaster. Summit offers an online course to help you do just that:

Disaster Readiness (Addresses OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38)

Help your workers prepare and react correctly to any potential emergency:
• Planning and preparing for emergency situations
• Variables to consider for proper preparation
• Elements of a comprehensive emergency response plan
• Best practices

Search our safety courses

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