Plan Ahead: Hurricane Season Runs Through November

08.10.2022
HR & Safety

OSHA is reminding employers to be prepared as hurricane season continues into November.

Scientists with the Colorado State University Seasonal Hurricane Forecasting updated extended range forecasts for the 2022 season earlier this month. 

The forecast continues to call for an above-average 2022 hurricane season in the Atlantic that will run through Nov. 30, 2022. 

OSHA officials released a number of recommendations employers should take to prepare. 

Plan Ahead

Create a plan and train your workers on it. 

A workplace weather safety plan should include shelter locations, policies to account for all personnel, procedures for dealing with hazardous materials, and maps with evacuation routes. 

OSHA offers evacuation plans and procedures for employers. 

It is important for employers to remember to provide plan materials and training in a language every worker can understand.

Make a Kit

Pack a kit with emergency supplies and have it readily available.

Various organizations offer guidance on what to include in a kit, such as a battery-operated weather radio, face masks, safety glasses, flashlights and first-aid kits. 

Making a checklist of essential items and activities in advance ensures you don’t overlook anything when a hurricane is forecast to come through your area.

Know the Hazards

Work conditions can change dramatically following a storm. 

Some common post-storm hazards include downed wires, fallen trees and debris, flooding, carbon-monoxide poisoning, and mold.

Be aware of potential hazards, and talk to employees about best practices and equipment to avoid. 

Stay Aware

Follow regional weather forecasts and understand how quickly a storm can change direction or increase intensity. 

Continue to track reports to stay aware of storm-related hazards. The National Weather Service and emergency management office websites are helpful tools.

Respond Safely

If your workers are involved in response and recovery efforts after a storm, make sure they have proper equipment and training. 

OSHA’s Hurricanes eMatrix tool offers recommendations on personal protective equipment and safe work practices for specific cleanup activities.

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