Safety Tips for the Calm After the Storm

In yesterday’s post, we reported that 11 tornados carved a path of destruction across the Dallas area during the holiday weekend. Gov. Gregg Abbott responded by declaring a state of emergency in multiple North Texas counties.

State and federal agencies are working alongside volunteers to assess and reverse the damage. If your business participates in recovery efforts, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration encourages you to educate your employees about the hazards they might encounter and teach them how to protect themselves.

Potential hazards

  • Hazardous driving conditions due to slippery and/or blocked roadways
  • Slips and falls due to slippery walkways
  • Falling and flying objects, such as tree limbs and utility poles
  • Sharp objects, including nails and broken glass
  • Electrical hazards from downed power lines or downed objects in contact with power lines
  • Falls from heights
  • Burns from fires caused by energized line contact or equipment failure
  • Exhaustion from working extended shifts
  • Heat exposure and dehydration

General precautions

  • Leave utility restoration, hazardous material clean-up, and search and rescue to the professionals. They have the proper training, equipment and experience.
  • Monitor your local radio or television stations for emergency information and the potential for additional storms.
  • Be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards, and report them to the proper local authorities and/or utility.
  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed power lines.
  • Wear boots, gloves and other proper clothing when walking on or near debris.
  • Be careful around sharp objects, including nails and broken glass.
  • Use the proper safety precautions when operating generators, chainsaws and other power tools.
  • Take steps to prevent heat illness and dehydration. 

More resources

For tips on weathering tornados and the hazards that often accompany them, visit Texas Mutual’s blog post titled “Lessons from the Field: Tornados Carve Path of Destruction Across North Texas.”

For information on preparing your home and your business for an emergency, leverage these free tools:

OSHA Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool

OSHA Emergency Action Plan standard

Ready.gov – Make a Plan

FEMA Family Emergency Planning Guide

FEMA Family Emergency Communication Plan

 

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