Handex Insights

How to be Prepared for a Severe Weather Event

Written by Maureen Davis | June 13, 2017


 During the event of any weather-related watch or warning, the health and safety of our employees is a primary concern. However, before any watch or warning takes place, at Handex, we emphasize the importance of being prepared before any storm season begins. Because the unexpected can happen in the blink of an eye, it is important to be prepared and have a plan. Before any storm warning is announced, we advise our employees to be prepared with the following:

  • Create a list of all emergency contact numbers.
  • Keep a copy of all insurances including car, medical, homeowner and rental.
  • Compile all prescription information.
  • Have first aid kits and flashlights in each room.
  • Stock up on batteries and non-perishable foods.
  • Be aware of all evacuation routes and create an evacuation plan.
  • Purchase a generator if necessary.

In the event, there is a major storm on the horizon, Handex has a detailed Emergency Response Plan in place for hurricanes, strong storms, snow storms, tornadoes and other major storms. This plan follows the recommended action timeline for pending severe weather systems.

When an event such as these occurs, we make sure to notify all Handex employees via group email and/or text so they are aware that a response plan is taking place. If the emergency is expected during the weekend or on a company holiday, designated employees will be contacted to return to the office to secure equipment if needed and safe to do so.

What to Do During a Weather-Related Watch

A storm watch is put in place when current conditions make it possible for a storm to develop within the next 48 hours. So 48 hours before the expected impact, it is recommended that an organization take the following steps:

  1. Review your Emergency Response Plan.
  2. Review your evacuation route(s) & listen to local officials.
  3. Review the items in your disaster supply kit and add items to meet the requirements stated in this procedure.
  4. Monitor local weather reports.
  5. Make sure your office location employee contact list is current.

What to Do During a Weather-Related Warning

A storm warning is put in place when current conditions make it probable for a storm to develop in the next 36 hours. So 36 hours before the expected impact, at a minimum, an organization should take the following steps:

  1. Monitor local weather updates and emergency instruction by listening to the radio or TV.
  2. Establish a clear line of communication and or a call chain for wellness checks throughout the event.  Test your wellness check system via group text and email.
  3. Secure all loose items and elevate items stored on the floor.
  4. Ensure that all vehicles are fueled and spare gas cans are filled and stored properly.

Having an effective Emergency Response Plan in place is a vital part of your organization's health and safety program. Your plan should have written documentation and be displayed in an area that is accessible to all staff and employees.



Author Avatar
Written by Maureen Davis
Maureen has over 20 years of experience in occupational and public safety and health in the environmental and construction industries. As health & safety manager, Maureen’s primary responsibility is to provide effective leadership focused on compliance with all Federal, State and local health and safety regulations. At Handex, she has been instrumental in the development and implementation of strategies, training programs and various ways to ensure compliance with best safety practices. She is truly passionate in fostering the safety of others whether at work, home or in the general public.

Topics: Health & Safety, Storm Safety