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GET READY FOR SEVERE WEATHER

Depending on where you work, your site may be especially vulnerable to severe weather. High winds, tornadoes or hurricanes could pose a threat. Or maybe you’re at risk for heavy rain, flooding, hail, lightning or wildfire. Each type of weather disaster creates a unique set of challenges, which can make preparation difficult. But there are some basic severe weather planning steps you can follow to get ready for weather of any kind.

Start early

Preparation should begin long before the weather gets unpredictable. If you don’t have an emergency weather plan, now’s the time to develop one. And if you do have a plan, make sure it’s up to date.

Consult a professional

You may find it useful to do your emergency planning with a risk management professional. They can help you assess your specific weather-related risks and develop a plan that works for your business.

Think before, during and after

A comprehensive emergency plan specifies actions required before a weather event occurs, while it’s in process and after it’s over.

Train your team

Put your weather plan in writing. Post it in an accessible place. And make sure all employees understand the roles they play in executing it. Teach them when, where and how to seek emergency shelter safely. Hold unannounced drills to confirm their understanding.

Secure materials

Make sure materials are properly stored for wet or windy conditions. Cover loose materials like sand and topsoil with tarps to prevent erosion. Create temporary windbreaks to protect stockpiles. Anchor the big materials—beams, plywood, sheet metal—to prevent them from going airborne.

Safeguard equipment

Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for suspending operations and securing equipment for severe weather.

Prep the office

Make sure site offices, sheds and warehouses are braced and anchored. Stock offices with emergency kits, flashlights, fresh water and other safety gear. Keep important documents in a fire- and water-safe place.

Plan for power outages

If you have a standby power generator, give it a monthly checkup to make sure it’s ready to run. Get backup battery power for your electronic devices. And check all the batteries in emergency exit signals and emergency lights.

Perfect your plan

Following a weather event, review how effectively your emergency plan was executed. Identify what went well and what could have been done differently. Then use that experience to make your plan even better.