As most of us are probably aware, hurricane season officially began on June 1 and will end on November 30. The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is predicated to be near- or above-normal this season. NOAA expects 10-16 named storms, including 5-9 hurricanes and 1-4 major of Category 3 or greater, this storm season. All storms that develop into a tropical system and are a threat to operations in the Gulf of Mexico will be closely monitored by the Management team until it dissipates. Although hurricanes are seemingly unpredictable, they can be forecasted several days ahead of landfall giving people time to take the necessary precautions. Early preparation at both home and work is paramount to ensure safety in the event a threat is imminent.
Consider the basic steps below when preparing for a hurricane at home:
- Make a family emergency communications plan and sign-up for community text/email alerts
- Leave hazardous areas early because roadways may become impassable several hours before a hurricane makes landfall
- Stay away from low-lying areas that could potentially flood or be impacted by storm surge
- Bring in everything that could potentially blow away such as garbage cans, plants, patio furniture, etc.
- Fuel vehicles and gas cans (Vehicles should also be fueled up before arriving at crew change)
- Fasten storm shutters or board up windows with plywood
- Store supplies such as nonperishable foods, plenty of bottled water, first aid kit, medications, flashlights, battery operated radio, and extra batteries
- Listen carefully for updates and instructions from emergency officials before going outside or returning home
Also consider the below steps when preparing for a hurricane on onshore or offshore facilities:
- Communicate the location and become familiar with all phases of the client’s Hurricane Plan
- Supervisors will often assign personnel specific hurricane preparedness roles and responsibilities as indicated in the Hurricane Plan. This will include designating essential and non-essential personnel.
- Complete operations specific pre-season checklists, and recheck throughout the season
- Acquire all the essential items needed for each phase of the Hurricane Plan
- Ensure the P.O.B. and personnel contact information for all crews is being kept up-to-date
- Perform and document a hurricane drill in accordance to client’s Emergency Evacuation Plan (EEP)
It is also a good time for employees to review their contact information that Shamrock currently has on file. This can be completed by logging into the intranet and clicking on My Shamrock > My Info. If you need to update your phone number, address, or emergency contact information, please complete an “Employee Change of Information” form with current information and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. The form is available on the intranet under Shamrock Home > Company Documents > Human Resources > Forms > 2406 Revision 2 Employee Change of Information. This is essential for Account Managers who often contact employees shortly after a storm to check-in or notify them when a client is ready for them to return to work.
Lastly, NOAA has developed “Extreme Weather Information Sheets” to assist the public increase their readiness and help coastal states that are particularly at risk in the event of a severe storm or hurricane. These sheets offer invaluable state, county/parish, and national information including radio and weather radio stations. Use the following link to locate and print the NOAA Extreme Weather Information Sheet available for your area: https://www.ncddc.noaa.gov/NEWIS.