Preparing for Hurricane Season 2018
Hurricane season begins June 1st, and now is a good time before an actual storm is in the forecast, to address the fundamental readiness of your operations to withstand hurricane-force wind and heavy rain, and any subsequent power outages.
Fast and efficient response is critical during a weather emergency, so it is a good idea to make sure building systems, safety items, and any materials needed during a weather emergency are visually identified, easily accessible, and fully operational. Are your work and storage areas well organized and free of clutter or debris? Are your facility's signage, tools and materials storage labeling up-to-date and complete?
Power-outages often accompany hurricanes. To prepare a loss of power, CIRMA and encourages members to:
- Inspect roofs, especially flat roofs, for water leaks and areas or damage or excessive wear. Perform maintenance if needed. Clean and inspect gutters, downspouts, and ensure water can be directed well away from the building's foundation.
- Inspect roof flashing -- many leaks are actually related to damaged flashing -- and repair if necessary.
- Check interiors for water stains on the inside and outside of walls and parapets; repair any existing leaks.
- Check structural attachments where the roof structure is secured to walls to reduce the possibility of wind damage. Augment if needed.
- Check and repair windows and doors for a secure fit.
- Move all vulnerable items (equipment, furniture, books, etc) that have been stored in low areas at risk of flooding, to higher areas. Find alternative space for vehicles parked outdoors in low-lying areas.
- Inspect and clear outside drains, drainage ditches, swales, and run-off areas of debris and accumulated silt, so that rain water can flow freely away from buildings.
- Inspect sump pump systems; augment or repair and replace if necessary.
- Understand the electrical systems in their facilities and have up-to-date documentation of the system on hand. Use signage to identify electrical system components and any emergency shut-off and power up instructions. View the new webinar - Electrical Equipment Risks - from Hartford Steam Boiler.
- Identify the critical loads that will require emergency power from generators.
- Install surge protection for the facility power supply and/or on power supply lines to critical or sensitive loads.
- Test emergency generators at least monthly; repair or replace if necessary.
- For more information on the preparing for a power outage, please download this advisory from the Hartford Steam Boiler Company.
- Inspect and perform preventive maintenance for power equipment, such as chainsaws and wood chippers, so that they are ready for emergency tree and brush work. Ensure all PPE is ready for use.
- Review safe operation and workplace safety topics with employees. Use signage and labels to communicate basic safety and operating instructions. Visit our E-Learning Center course catalog for relevant safety training programs such as Chainsaw Safety, Power Tool Safety, Personal Protective Equipment and Bloodborne Pathogens courses.
Here are some additional helpful links as you prepare to prepare for a major warm-weather storm or hurricane:
Contact your CIRMA Risk Management Consultant to learn more about our risk management programs.