SAFETY TIPS FOR HOME REPAIR AFTER HURRICANE IRMA
September 14, 2017
The danger of a storm does not end when it passes. As Floridians and others affected by the recent hurricane return to their homes and begin repairs, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County suggests taking the following safety precautions to prevent personal injury:
- If possible, work in pairs or groups.
- Take short breaks and work during the cooler hours of the day.
- Wear goggles, heavy gloves and steel-toed boots.
- Immediately clean all open wounds and cuts with soap and clean water. Cuts beyond minor scratches may require medical attention.
- Never assume that water-damaged structures are safe; leave immediately if shifting or unusual noises occur.
- Avoid lifting more than 50 pounds of debris or building materials. Two or more people should move bulky objects.
- Avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion by wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and drinking a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Only experienced people should use chain saws and specialized equipment. When using chain saws or other heavy equipment, wear earplugs.
- To prevent electrocution in wet areas, turn power off at the main breaker.
- Never handle a downed power line.
- Never bring gasoline- or diesel-powered pumps, generators or pressure washers indoors as they release carbon monoxide – a deadly, colorless, odorless gas.
- Set priorities for clean-up tasks and pace the work over several days or weeks.
- Avoid exhaustion by taking frequent rest breaks and resuming a normal sleep schedule as soon as possible.
- Take advantage of disaster relief programs and services in your community.