Plan Ahead for a Hurricane

Sep 11, 2017

Preparing a scrapyard for a hurricane should begin well before the winds start whipping.

Creating, reviewing and revising an emergency response plan prior to storm season provides the optimal protection.

In planning ahead, you can react sooner and avoid potentially disastrous oversights when a storm threatens. For example, knowing how you will secure equipment before a storm hits and communicate with employees afterward so that they know when it is safe to return will help you better protect your business and your people.

“The time to plan is always before,” said Terry Cirone, vice president of safety for the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. “So, if you could be in the path of a storm get out that plan, dust it off and review it.”

Cirone advises recycling centers to be particularly proactive in preparing their communication plans, controlling mold, and protecting their records. “It’s all about business continuity and protecting your assets.”

Some businesses recently impacted by Hurricane Harvey failed to protect their files from water damage, she said. “If they get so flooded out or water-logged that you can’t utilize them, then that’s a problem.”

With Hurricane Irma’s arrival imminent and additional storms looming, Cirone urged businesses to prepare early and act quickly to stay safe.

Here are some suggested steps.

  • Review responsibilities for preparations and response with everyone, including senior management.

  • Establish processes for storm-related communication between employees and managers, such as how to announce when the business will close and re-open as well as how employees can report that they cannot make it to work. Update all related phone numbers.

  • Secure equipment or materials that could be sent flying by strong winds.

  • Shut down electrical equipment that could be exposed to flooding.

  • Remove low-lying files and other property that could be damaged by high waters.

  • Check for mold caused by flooding. Hire experts to treat affected areas like walls and carpets if needed to protect the health of your employees and customers.

See ISRI’s Safety Tips for Hurricane and Flooding Cleanup and Recovery Work for additional information.

The post was written by ISRI member Scrapyard Pro and originally appeared on the ScrapyardPro Blog.

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