After a hot, dry summer nationwide, the arrival of Fall has brought torrential rains. With areas of South Carolina dealing with catastrophic flooding, it is crucial for your organization to have a preparedness and response plan in place, especially if you are located or working in a flood prone area. Keep an eye on the regional warning systems in place (i.e. radio, websites and news stations). This will help with your response time. OSHA’s quick guide on flood preparedness and response is an excellent resource for your company when developing this plan.
Having an evacuation plan prepared will help your company avoid confusion during a flood. This will ultimately prevent potential injuries and property damage that could occur. Your excavation plan should include:
- Conditions that will activate the plan
- List of management and responsibilities
- Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits
- Procedures for accounting for personnel, customers and visitors
It is essential to review this plan with your employees, and make sure a hard copy is easily accessible in a waterproof bag or container. A preparedness plan is useless if no one has read it prior to the event. Furthermore, you should keep at least two emergency supply kits on hand. These should be easily accessible to all employees and have the necessary tools and supplies including first aid, flashlights, batteries, and clean drinking water.
After a flood, the ground can remain unstable, buildings can be damaged, and utility lines could be faulty. It is important to return to work cautiously and to inspect your work site for potential hazards. Chemical hazards and mold are harder to recognize, and can cause lingering risks. Use proper safety gear when cleaning up and wash your hands often. For further information on cleanup and recover plans, OSHA has developed a thorough guide that can be found here.
As always, feel free to contact The Integrated Group for consultation or for help creating an emergency preparedness and response plan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425.822.8500.