Emergency conditions following a severe weather event can be extremely dangerous especially when it comes to downed power lines (home power outages) and debris (tree) removal. We are humans and we love to just jump right in and take action and that’s great, but pause for a moment and think about the potential hazards that are out there after a storm has passed.
Here are a few things to remember when performing activities after a severe weather event.
- Downed power lines: Always treat downed power lines as LIVE. Sometimes trees that have fallen can hide downed power lines. Always approach downed trees with caution. You could be walking or working near a live power line.
- Generator usage to back-feed your house: If you are not 100% sure that you know how to back-feed your house using a generator…do not attempt. Contact someone that knows how, preferably an electrician. Also, be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning…never place a generator inside your house or near an open window that can allow exhaust fumes to enter your house.
- Cutting trees and tree limbs: Always practice chain saw safety and wear your PPE (eye/face protection, gloves, chaps, and hearing protection) when operating a chainsaw. Always be cautious of stored energy when cutting limbs…cut tree limbs can release a lot of energy and cause serious bodily injury.
- Pay attention to the heat: Watch out for one another when performing clean-up duties. The outside temperature is still in the mid to upper 90s. Stay hydrated (with WATER)!!!
- Seek assistance when needed: Walking in and around can pose a lot of tripping hazards. Watch your BACK!! You will be doing a lot of bending and lifting which can lead to lower back strains or pulled muscles.
Stay safe and use extreme caution when performing post storm clean-up activities.
Specifically relating to Hurricane Laura, below are some resources available for assistance to those who have been impacted by this week’s disaster.
PDF version is available through the link below.