With hurricane season upon us, there’s no better time than the present to think about hurricane response preparedness within your organization. Emergency Management leaders, like you, have an important responsibility to educate your team on the basics of hurricane response within the community. Your efforts can help save lives. The following hurricane response information will assist you and your team members to become better equipped to act when a hurricane hits.
Get Ready to RespondPreparing for a hurricane – or any natural disaster for that matter – is key to appropriate and timely response. Hurricane response and recovery can be hazardous. Anyone involved in response efforts should be aware of the potential dangers and take the proper precautions ahead of time so they can immediately deploy when needed.
- Medical screening: Before taking part in response/recovery activities, inform personnel to get medically screened and discuss any vaccines they may need with their health care provider.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): Personnel must have the correct PPE to protect themselves from the debris, floodwater and other hazardous conditions created by hurricanes. PPE can include hard hats, safety goggles, face shields, work gloves, steel-toe boots and an impervious body suit.
- Hazards: Personnel involved with hurricane or flood response and recovery activities should be aware of the potential dangers (e.g., electrical hazards, falls, unstable surfaces) and what safety precautions should be taken, if necessary.
- Search and rescue: Following a hurricane, rescue personnel are the first to arrive on the scene, often in adverse weather conditions, ready to save lives. Therefore, they must take the right safety precautions during rescue efforts, including donning appropriate PPE and always following safe work practices. Make sure your personnel are aware of and properly trained in correct search and rescue procedures.
- Traumatic stress: Personnel are at risk of experiencing stress from a traumatic incident, which is any incident that involves exposure to catastrophic events, severely injured people, dead bodies or a loss of colleagues. All personnel involved in response activities should know where to turn in their organization or community for help with traumatic stress symptoms. Make support information readily available to personnel before an emergency situation occurs.