Hurricane Preparedness (cont.)

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Wear protective gear

For most work in flooded areas, wear hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank).

Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce noise induced hearing risk from equipment noise. Equipment such as chain saws, backhoes, and professional dryers may cause ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and subsequent hearing damage.

Beware of electrical hazards

  • If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Never enter any area with standing water or touch electrical equipment if the ground is wet, unless you are certain that the power is off. NEVER handle a downed power line.
  • When using gasoline and diesel generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator.
  • If clearing debris or other work must be performed near a downed power line, contact the utility company before entering the area to do work. Extreme caution is necessary when moving ladders and other equipment near overhead power lines to avoid inadvertent contact.

Avoid carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is poisonous to breathe. During flood cleanup, operate all gasoline-powered devices such as pumps, generators, and pressure washers outdoors and never bring them inside a building or home. This will help to ensure the safety from carbon monoxide poisoning for everyone.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/24/2012

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