It’s hurricane season. Even when a storm isn’t headed directly for our North Florida / Southeast Georgia home, it is important to be prepared and stay mindful of best hurricane safety practices. From high winds and heavy rains to storm surges and rip currents, hurricanes pose many threats. Refresh yourself each season on the safety measures to take before, during, and after the storm so you are prepared for whatever the hurricane season may hold.
Before the Storm
Build an emergency kit with items like food, water, a battery or hand crank radio, flashlights, first aid kits, extra batteries, etc.
Determine a family communication plan
Evaluate your risk level by considering if your home is located in a flood zone, identifying trees that could pose a threat to your home, etc.
Make a plan to secure your property and cover your windows
Purchase and install a generator
Stay alert to the local news reports – if you are asked to evacuate, gather your important belongings (personal documents, photo albums, blankets and clothes, etc.) and head inland, away from the path of the storm
During the Storm
If you do not evacuate, take shelter for the full duration of the storm in an interior room in a sturdy building
Listen for emergency alerts and storm updates on your television, radio, or phone
If you need to use a generator, use it only outdoors and away from windows
Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters
Turn off unnecessary appliances to avoid damage in case of an electrical surge
Keep water, food, and an emergency and first aid kit on hand at all times
If you use electric forklifts, and any batteries or chargers were submerged or exposed to water, do not try to use the batteries or charge them. STOP, and contact us for instructions.
Be careful of puddles as they may have washed out deeper from the commotion of the storm and could hang-up your forklift by high centering it.
If any part of your equipment was submerged during the hurricane, DO NOT try to start it. Sea water contaminated with sand and dirt is bad enough, but trying to crank it through your internal combustion engine can cause even more problems. STOP and give us a call for instructions based on the type of equipment and fuel you are using.
DO NOT fill your tank with fuel from a container that has been submerged.
DO NOT attempt to use any type of LPG tanks that have been submerged.
Check your racks & storage units for corrosion at the base. This will cause reduced capacity.
Salt Water corrodes Rubber Hoses (water, hydraulic, etc…) clean immediately and apply protectant. A forklift is an industrial truck but it is NOT a boat. If your truck has survived lift truck water damage or flooding, do not try to use it to drive through puddles to get to through your warehouse. The salt water and contaminants in the water will damage the forklift. ESPECIALLY electric lift trucks.
Inspect all dock doors before use. If there appears to be any mechanical or electrical damage DO NOT operate the door. Mark the area with warning signs or tape to ensure no one walks near or beneath the door, and call for maintenance services as soon as possible.
Clean Up Safety
Before entering your home or work space, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines and other exterior damage.
Always wear protective clothing including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, rubber or plastic gloves and waterproof boots or shoes.
Take photos of your damage before you begin clean up and save repair receipts.
Open doors and windows so your house or office can air out before spending any length of time inside.
Turn off main electrical power and water systems and don’t use gas appliances until a professional can ensure they are safe.
Check all ceilings and floors for signs of sagging or other potentially dangerous structural damage.
Beware of snakes, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.
Clean all hard surfaces (flooring, countertops, appliances, sinks, etc.) thoroughly with hot water and soap or detergent.
If your power is out, safely use a generator or battery-operated flashlights.
Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home’s electrical system – they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
Visit fema.gov to find out how you can be reimbursed for your new or damaged generator
Avoid debris, downed power lines, and flood water, which may be electrically charged and hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away. Avoid downed power or utility lines as they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way as much as possible.
If your home has flood water inside or around it, don’t walk or wade in it. Oil, gasoline, or raw sewage may have contaminated the water.