Tornadoes aren’t the only natural disasters that you need to worry about this time of year. June 1 is the official start of hurricane season in Canada, which runs through November.
Due to the combination of an unusually warm tropical Atlantic and relatively low likelihood of El Niño, an active hurricane season is predicted, continuing a 15-year period of high hurricane activity.
Specifically, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlook for the 2013 season predicts a 70% likelihood of 13-20 named storms, of which 7-11 could become hurricanes—including 3-6 major hurricanes.
Regardless of the overall number of storms forecast for the entire Atlantic Basin, the Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) responds to 4-5 tropical cyclone events each year, with one or two of those affecting Canadian soil and another two or three threatening offshore waters.
But it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it a bad season. So take these five steps to prepare for hurricane season:
1. Learn about hurricanes. Find out if hurricanes could be a threat to your workplace.
2. Secure your workplace. Take steps to secure your facility and make it less vulnerable to storms.
3. Develop an emergency plan. For example, when developing general emergency response plans for your workplace, make sure they address extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards. Make sure all employees know what to do, where to go and how to stay connected to information sources. Your company’s plan should be based on its vulnerability to hurricane hazards and in writing. And all staff should be trained on it.
4. Create an emergency supply kit. Have key items on hand, such as flashlights and batteries, no matter where workers may have to ride out a hurricane, whether the workplace or company vehicles.
For information, resources and tools on preparing for and responding to hurricanes and other kind of emergencies, go to the OHS Insider’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Compliance Centre. Highlights:
- An infographic on emergencies that includes hurricanes and tropical storms
- 8 emergency preparedness and response tips
- Workplace Flood Preparedness & Response Checklist
- Information on dealing with the aftermath of a flood.
And at Safety Smart, you can find:
- A safety talk for workers on hurricane safety
- An article on tips for preparing at work and home for a hurricane.
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