Storm Safety

 In 2022, Tip of the Week

The storms that have been pummeling California with torrential rain since late December have been devastating. Six atmospheric rivers have washed over the state so far, and three more are expected soon. At least 18 people have lost their lives due to the storms. Floods gush down what should be roadways. And, as seen in the picture, water-soaked land can no longer hold trees, which are crashing into homes, vehicles, and power lines.

California is not alone. The Northeast states were devastated by snowstorms in December. At least 60 fatalities were attributed to the storms. This past Thursday, several southern states braced for tornadoes.

The time to prepare for storms is before they occur. Once a storm has hit, it is too late and too dangerous to run to the store for supplies. You must plan ahead, and be ready, whether you are preparing for work or for home. Here are a few storm-related safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Plan your power sources. This may be especially critical for some people, as they may be dependent on powered life support. Plug electrical and electronic devices into power strips or outlets with surge protection. Keep your electronics charged. If you have a portable generator, use it according to manufacturer’s guidelines. For more information about generators, follow this link to OSHA’s fact page on generators.

2. Plan your communications. Companies with workers at remote locations or employees that must go out in bad weather should have some plan to maintain contact. Radios, texting, or even posting on social media are sometimes more reliable than using conventional telephones during storms. It’s the same for families and friends. There are many stories of people communicating through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites to let loved ones know their status during and post storm. Limit 9-1-1 calls to emergencies only. FEMA has some tips on communication, linked here.

3. Plan your supplies. Storms may limit our ability to go stores and pharmacies. Have a supply of vitamins, water, comfort food that can be easily prepared, medications, flashlights, and batteries, and even have some pet food for our animal friends. Put your boots and storm gear where it can be easily reached in case you have to go outside. Only consider the use of wax candles as a last resort, to limit ignition sources. One note on supplies, the fuller your freezer, the longer it will keep food frozen. If you have room in your freezer, fill it with plastic containers of water. Not only will it help to keep the freezer cold, but it will also give you a secondary source for drinking water should it be needed. For food supply suggestions, follow this link.

For those of you that know the SCM headquarters is in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has been hit hard by the storms, we’re doing pretty well. We are happy to report that, other than experiencing a few power outages at our homes, our team is safe. As the storms hit, we enacted a plan for those who were able to work from home. We made sure all have adequate protection, and no one has been flooded. Thank you for your concerns. Stay safe!

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