Hurricane season in the U.S. runs primarily from June through the end of November, although these storms can sometimes occur at other times throughout the year. If you live and work in areas regularly affected by hurricanes, you know how important it is for your business to have essential supplies available for response and recovery efforts. Review these recommended hurricane supplies to create a supply list that can help your business respond to and recover from a hurricane.
Hurricane Supplies to Protect People
Recovery after a storm requires cleanup work for which your people need proper gear. Here's a quick list of personal protective equipment and other items you may want to consider to protect people after the storm.
If your teams work outdoors, they may need rainwear that keeps them dry, but is also reflective and brightly colored so they can be seen easily even in low-visibility conditions. Clean-up efforts may include working in areas with standing water. Rubber boots and waders keep feet and clothes dry. Employees also may need eye protection to shield themselves from debris and splashing, and gloves to protect their hands during clean-up tasks.
Floodwaters, downed trees and storm debris may block roadways or damage some structures making them unsafe for access until they are repaired. Use traffic safety devices and barrier markers, such as cones and barrier tape, to identify blocked roadways and closed areas. These devices help control site access and can also delineate staging areas for response and recovery efforts.
Shelter and Other Basic Needs
Damaged and flooded roadways, extended hours for response and recovery work, and disrupted public transportation systems may require some employees to shelter in place in the aftermath of a storm. You may find it helpful to have cots and beds available, as well as emergency food and water rations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends other personal gear which may be helpful after a hurricane, including toiletries, hand sanitizer, over-the-counter medicines (e.g. pain relievers, antibiotic creams, allergy relief) and sunscreen.
Hurricane Supplies to Protect Facilities and Equipment
Damage to structures from heavy winds, power outages and flooding are common after a hurricane. The list below includes items to help you address potential storm damage to your facilities and equipment.
Waterproof tarps offer temporary cover if roofing is blown away by the storm. You may need to replace missing roof shingles or repair building or equipment damage caused by flying debris.
Storm winds and flooding can cause power outages. Portable generators provide temporary solutions until power is restored. Carbon monoxide (CO) buildup is a potential hazard of generator use. Make sure if you use a generator that you're following all generator safety tips. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas. Gas detectors can help you detect leaks and prevent exposure to hazardous gases. It may also be helpful to have battery-powered job site lights to illuminate workspaces during these outages.
Once storms pass, chainsaws can help clear downed or damaged trees and shrubs. Pruning and cutting tools, like pole saws, hedge trimmers, chipper shredders and pruning shears, may also come in handy for cleanup.
You can use portable blowers and carpet dryers to dry flooded flooring. Fans can also help. Once dry, you may need to clean surfaces with disinfectants and apply mold killers. OSHA offers general guidelines about worker safety during flood recovery efforts.
For tips on how your business can respond to and recover from severe weather and other emergencies, review this collection of emergency preparedness guides.