Riding out the Storm
As I lay in bed last night, listening to 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts shake and rattle my home as though it was nestled in close proximity to Grand Central Station, I wondered if my family was truly prepared to deal with the potential of sleeping on top of an oak tree, or having a portion of our roof available for sledding.
Seriously, here it is late February and, having lived in New England a major portion of my life, you would think a winter ritual of emergency preparedness would be in place by now. Yet there I was, 12:30 a.m., no power, punishing winds, two feet of snow, walking around my house in a dark daze looking for a flashlight, that, once located, was barely bright enough to illuminate the inside of a shoebox.
So, this fresh experience made me think, What a great topic for a safety blog! What steps could people take to get ready the next time your local forecaster states: "Big storm on horizon, tune in at 11:00."?
- Have home evacuation plan in place. Review the plan and conduct a drill on an annual basis.
- Determine how you will escape from the second story of your home. There are several emergency ladders for sale today that are meant for one-time usage.
- Gather Emergency supplies at home (radio, flashlights, batteries, blankets, warm clothing, first-aid kit)
- Consider temporary heating sources (fire places, wood stoves, portable heaters) and the fire dangers associated with their usage (fire extinguishers, chimney fires, carbon monoxide exposure)
- Provisions are an important consideration. Have plenty of high calorie, nonperishable food and water on hand.
- Toilet usage can be continued by filling your washing machine or bath-tub and using the water to flush toilets.
- Ensure communication with the outside world by having one phone that does not require power for operation.
For more information on tips and checklists on "riding out a storm", simply conduct an internet search using the keywords "storm preparedness" or go to ready.gov. At that website, you can also find good information about how to make sure your business is ready in the event of an emergency.
Posted by Eric Grant
Safety Net Blog
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