Hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico starts June 1st and ends November 30th. The peak season always is around mid-August to late October, as shown in the below image. Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey hit in late August, and now Hurricane Dorian looks to make landfall during this period too.
Hurricane Katrina hit 8/29/2005, and Hurricane Harvey hit 8/26/17, both during peak season.
Recent hurricanes have been intense, with sustained wind speeds reaching 157 mph, a category 5 level. When a hurricane's massive system strikes, those facing its destructive path and stored up energy face serious hazards: heavy rains, high winds, flooding, storm surge, and tornadoes. Once the storm has moved on, the hazards don't end. Post-Cleanup workers face limitless hazards during recovery efforts from the damage caused.
This blog addresses the PPE required by workers during a hurricane's post-cleanup efforts. We’ll also discuss CDC recommendations, OSHA recommendations, and FEMA's guidance.
MCR Safety's Hurricane Cleanup PPE
Time is precious for those involved in restoring order after a hurricane. In addition, response activities that take place early on save lives. So, we're not wasting any time highlighting the PPE worn by FEMA teams, emergency professionals, first respondents, and returning homeowners. Click the link at the end, which showcases MCR Safety's Hurricane Recovery PPE list.
We recognize this is a challenging time and hope to make this an easy buying process for all involved. Keep in mind the above-simplified list highlights some of our everyday PPE styles worn by workers. In addition to these items, our product line of safety glasses, gloves, and garments is vast. Workers may require specialized PPE for dealing with specific hazards.
Recovery disaster areas are never the same from day to day and are continuously changing during cleanup efforts. Anyone working in a hurricane disaster area must perform a quick risk assessment before starting work and wearing PPE. We know this sounds easier said than done when you're facing a colossal disaster area. However, you will most likely get injured if you encounter chemicals and only wear general-purpose leather gloves.
So, we encourage you to stay alert and look for hazards your current personal protective equipment isn't designed for during recovery efforts. Many times, injuries are a result of simply not wearing the correct PPE.
Hurricane Cleanup Work
Indeed, an employment search engine shows over 2,200 hurricane jobs across the country. Here is just a snapshot of jobs for hurricane cleanup:
- Construction worker
- Disaster recovery specialists
- Equipment Operators
- General Labor
- Hurricane shutter installer
- Medical staff
- Safety jobs
- Stucco repair
- Window and door installer
There are countless other jobs required during aftermath cleanup efforts. Almost all of them will need some form of PPE worn, especially any DIY worker who takes on post cleanup efforts.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC's website offers excellent resources for those involved in post-recovery cleanup efforts in hurricane flood zones. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) fact sheet offers general guidance for personal protective equipment (PPE).
Here are some of the PPE they highlight:
All of these are covered in our list provided above. Here are some additional hazards where PPE is required, with MCR Safety protection pages next to each hazard.
Sharp jagged metal
Hurricane PPE for cleanup hazards:
Flying Dust and Debris
Heavy Duty Work Gloves and PPE
The CDC mentions that heavy-duty gloves should be worn whenever possible in a dangerous recovery area. When you're working around sharp edges, jagged metal, and handling a lot of material, only the best PPE should be worn. Here are some of the heaviest-duty gloves we offer, equipped with a cut-resistant liner. Cut injuries are an absolute concern due to the hazards mentioned above.
Click on any image to be taken to the entire website category page..
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA offers multiple resources and tools for those returning to dangerous hurricane zones. One of these tools is their Hurricane eMatrix shown below. As with many industry eMatrix tools created by OSHA, this is a dedicated resource page for hazard exposure during hurricane recovery work.
Here are some of the PPE and hazards identified by OSHA:
Hi-Visibility Vests keep workers seen and safe.
OSHA also provides a condensed fact sheet with information for post recovery work.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides post-disaster support and a central location near a disaster's impact area. The agency's Incident Management Assist Teams deploy at a moment's notice to facilitate the management of catastrophic incidents.
For all returning to their homes after a hurricane, check out FEMA's PDF for recovery from a disaster. In this document, FEMA highlights the importance of safety. Stay alert to contaminated buildings, broken glass, damaged electrical wiring, and sharp metal.
Dangerous materials, like broken glass, are everywhere after a hurricane hits.
Cut-resistant and puncture-resistant gloves guard worker's hands with essential PPE during a hurricane's cleanup efforts.
We Protect People!
MCR Safety protects workers across hundreds of industries and workplace environments, including post-recovery hurricane zones. If you need any assistance in choosing the correct PPE for the hazards you will face, don't hesitate to give our team a call. Whenever a hurricane is approaching, MCR Safety keeps a dedicated line in place when you call 1-800-955-6887 to aid anyone who require PPE orders shipped out. MCR Safety, We Protect People!
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For over 45 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a world leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it's welding metal, carrying heavy materials, or working at a construction site, we are there providing solutions to workplace hazards. It's all part of our commitment to protect people.
No matter your industry, we have the personal protective equipment you need.
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. For more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at 800-955-6887.