A severe storm or flood has the ability to devastate towns, but an effective emergency action plan will help to limit any damage that could ensue. However, it's not always possible to eliminate all of the negative effects of an unexpected spate of violent weather.
When preparing for an oncoming storm or cyclone, it is important to know how to respond before and during the event. It is also equally important to have a plan for dealing with the after effects.
Clear a path
When it comes time to restore power to downed areas, or to get businesses back up and running, blocked roads, paths and access ways can be hazardous for clearing crews. In the event of flash floods, silt and mud can be a major problem, prohibiting most vehicles from using certain areas. If you are removing silt or other debris from roadways, earthmoving equipment is usually the best bet for an effective clearing method.
If you are working near high-voltage equipment, it's important to ensure you are not using any conductive equipment - especially if there is a lot of water around. For access solutions in these situations, have a look at hiring a fibreglass ladder that will not conduct electricity.
Using a block and tackle, or a tow rope attached to a hired vehicle, will help you to clear felled trees from pathways. A chainsaw may be needed for especially large trees, in order to cut them up into more movable pieces.
A pump and generator may be necessary if you are clearing out a basement or lower level, however make sure to be safe around water and electrical equipment.
Don't forget comfort
During the cleanup after a catastrophic weather event, workers will be tired and under a lot of strain. Make sure to provide sufficient comfort for their downtime, so they are able to tackle the job with renewed vigour after resting up.
Hiring a generator, lights and some basic cooking and hot water equipment will provide people with the sustenance they need to keep their heads up. Whether you're coordinating a community centre or helping restore a workplace to functioning capacity, it is essential that people are warm, dry and well fed.
Make sure to listen out for emergency broadcasts which will let you know which areas have been cleared and are safe to return to. Recovering after a flood or storm can be a hard time, but it also shows the true mettle of a community - when people get stuck in to help each other out.