“Preparedness is everyone’s responsibility.” (Federal Emergency Management Agency) https://www.fema.gov/
Natural disasters, such as violent weather patterns, can dramatically and catastrophically affect human life, homes, businesses, and livelihood. As life is full of uncertainties, it is vital to prepare yourself for the forces of nature. Covid-19, for example, has recently turned our world upside down. Devastating events take many forms, including, “hurricanes”, snowstorms, floods, and earthquakes. These nature-related events create serious hardships for households and could ruin a business. In the height of crisis, debris management becomes a crucial and overwhelming problem, so companies need to plan ahead to manage waste issues in the time of weather ambiguity.
Planning is The key
Your disaster plan requires forethought and preparation to deal with the unpredictability of the weather and the resulting waste disposal needs. Businesses are especially susceptible to storms and their aftermath. Employee safety, protection of assets, property damage, inability to operate for an extended period, all need to be taken into consideration.
When planning give thought the following:
- Collection and disposal of all loose items on property that could become projectiles and cause damage.
- Schedule a pickup of your waste and recycling containers just prior to the event, when possible.
- Move waste containers inside, remove them, or secure them in place prior to the event.
- Expect regular waste services to be interrupted for a period after the event.
- Designate a storage area to stockpile regular waste until services can be restored.
- Arrange in advance the delivery of roll-off containers to dispose of storm debris. If unable to have in place before the storm, designate an area for tree limbs and other storm debris, and make sure to clear a path to that area so the garbage truck can access. Everyone else will be trying to get these delivered at the same time, so expect long delays.
- Remove Hazardous, industrial, and biological waste from the property or secured prior to the event. Ensure special wastes are properly labeled and that handling regulations are posted and adhered to.
Remember that disasters are often not limited to a single event. Hurricanes are followed by flooding, electrical outages, and supply shortages, etc.
Consider how much worse a natural disaster can be while dealing with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. According to Colorado State University, the case would be 50% more complicated than the past seasons due to the current circumstances. However, planning could give you some peace of mind and safety.
Here are the vital questions that you need to ask yourself to decide the direction of planning.
1.Do you have a proper plan to deal with the severe weather?
It is vital to have an effective plan to ensure the safety of workers, customers, and businesses’ assets.
The following things should be there in a proper debris management plan.
- Defined chain of command
- Removal procedures and emergency functions with the acting responsibilities
- A detailed list of the equipment on a property to use for debris and waste control actions
2.Do you secure the hazardous waste on-site?
The hazardous material needs to be removed way before the hurricane or severe weather hits. It is vital to make sure that powders and chemicals are at a proper place and in the air-tight containers. Make sure to relocate the material at higher cabinets and areas to avoid any potential damage.
3.Do you know the ability of your partnered waste service provider?
Managed waste partners like “Talismark” www.talismark.com can be a ray of hope in the time of disasters or even in the time you are preparing for one. The efficiency of advising, vendor leverage, property knowledge, and just plain experience in this area can save you tons of aggravation alone.
An experienced managed waste partner can effectively guide you in this area. These professionals work hand in hand with you to find on-site solutions and proper disposal outlets.
After finding the answer to the above questions, it is essential to work this into your disaster plan.
Other Helpful resources:
Federal Disaster Assistance: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); www.fema.gov
American Red Cross (Evacuation Resources): 1-800-975-7585 https://www.redcross.org/
Hurricane Helpline: 1-800-227-8676
Finding Loved Ones: 1-877-LOVED-1S
Articles you may also find helpful:
– Tips for responsible handling of waste and recycling during a pandemic (and even when there isn’t one).
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