How Emergency Response Teams Prepare for Severe Weather Occurrences

The summer is coming to an end. That means the tornado and hurricane season is just around the corner. Now is the time that emergency response teams make final preparations for severe weather occurrences. But, that is not to say they have not been practicing all summer. Emergency response organizations often use summer charity events to ensure precision execution of their processes and procedures.

This hurricane season may be a memorable one. In the post The Weather Company Forecasts More Active Hurricane Season Than First Predicted, it is stated:

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, has raised the number of named storms it expects to develop in its latest 2017 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, warning of “higher-than-normal landfall risks in the northeast U.S.”

In its final outlook update released Tuesday, The Weather Company said it now expects 17 named storms throughout the season, including nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater intensity.

Emergency preparednessThis forecast is above the Atlantic Basin’s 30-year historical average of 12 named storms. The number of named storms does not necessarily have a direct correlation to the number of storms that hit the United States. In any case, we must always be prepared.

When these extreme weather events occur, emergency response organizations go to work. But, they have been preparing all summer. As we discussed in a previous post on this blog, the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and HAM operators utilize the summer outdoor charity events, like a Bike Rally, to practice their processes and procedures. Who are these organizations?

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

CERTs are trained to be the First Responders in the case of a major disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane. They administer first aid and work in a coordinated fashion with the Fire and Police to make sure you have the best care you need. That is what they do – treat and triage.

CERT is an integral part of the Citizen Corps, a grass-roots movement supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Amateur Radio Operators (HAM)

Amateur Radio is a hobby. However, HAM operators provide a public service. People use ham radio to communicate across town or around the world, all without the Internet or cell phones. This is incredibly valuable in cases when all other communication services are unavailable, such as during a storm.

HAM operators will assist during public charity events. For instances, the SAG wagons used in a Bike Rally are generally fitted with high-tech HAM operator equipment. This provides safety services for the charity event and also provides the opportunity for the HAM organization to prepare for future extreme weather events.

Summer Preparation for Fall Weather

HAM and CERT organizations are only examples of the many volunteer organizations that use Summer charity events as preparation for when they need to mobilize during a severe Fall weather event.

These volunteers put themselves into danger to assist those in need. Each volunteer needs the equipment to help them stay safe. If you are interested in proper equipment, such as emergency lights, and safety apparel that help these volunteers do their job, contact Traffic Safety Direct. We love to answer questions and share our experience.

 

Actions That Can Be Taken To Improve Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian safety is becoming a larger issue in our communities. People are walking more. They are moving to urban neighborhoods and adding steps to improve their health. And of course, children will always be playing near the street. This all increases the importance of managing the speed of vehicles.

There is much that we can do to improve the safety of our communities. We do not need to rely only on the police for enforcement. Our community can organize to play an important role in managing traffic safety.

Education

Community organizations and Home Owners Associations can develop and offer education for our citizens. This would be from the perspective of the walking or cycling pedestrian, as well as, the driver of the automobile.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center offers tips and educational resources that can be shared with the community. For instance in their post Safety Tips for Pedestrians, they offer specific details on:

  • Be Safe and Be Seen: Make yourself visible to drivers
  • Be Smart and Alert: Avoid dangerous behaviors
  • Be Careful at Crossings: Look before you step

Home Owner’s Association

A road may be owned and maintained by the Home Owners’ Association. It will be the responsibility of the HOA to control the speed of the motorists.

Many communities that manage private roads prefer to keep the speed limit at 20 miles per hour or less. A vehicle traveling at a speed greater than 15 or 20 MPH can prove to be a hazard to the residents of the community.

As we have discussed in a previous post, private roads can post a speed limit by installing speed limit signs. Enforcing the speed limit can become quite challenging, however. Some Home owners’ Associations will attempt to charge the resident member a fine for their violation or a guest of the resident that violated the speed limit.

Another recourse the Home Owners’ Association has is to install speed bumps. A speed bump’s purpose is to reduce vehicle speeds by providing a low-level obstacle.

There are regulations regarding placement and installation of the speed bumps. These regulations differ, so the municipality and other governing bodies of the community must be contacted by the Home Owners’ Association to ensure compliance is adhered.

Private communities can consider alternatives, such as speed bumps and citizen education, as a deterrent to drivers exceeding safe speed levels for areas with active pedestrians and cyclists.

At Traffic Safety Direct, we offer rubber speed bumps constructed from 100% recycled tires.  For more information, contact us at 888-260-3246

 

 

 

Delineating Posts for Pedestrian and Driver Safety

The National Council of State Legislatures stated that there is an increase in the amount of Americans walking for transportation and recreation. With the increase of pedestrians walking  rather than driving to their destination, all actions must be taken to increase public safety. Attention to pedestrian safety is growing in importance.

The pedestrian must be protected when coming into close proximity of vehicular traffic patterns. One alternative is the In-street pedestrian crossing signs. Previously on this Blog, we discussed the value pedestrian crosswalk signs have for safety in road construction zones and, also, in permanent pedestrian crosswalks. Pedestrians can readily see the safe access within the traffic pattern. And, the motorist is made aware of the marked pedestrian crossing.

Delineator Posts

Delineator Posts are another alternative to protect both the pedestrian and the driver of the vehicle. These posts can be used to protect pedestrians and workers in construction or hazardous areas.

Delineator posts can also be used to clearly identify auto traffic patterns on high-speed roads in permanent locations.

There are several choices of plastic posts with bases for, both, temporary situations and permanent locations.

diamond_top_close_upDiamond Style Top Post Reflective

These posts are bright orange with two 3″ bands of reflective tape for improved daytime and nighttime visibility. They are designed for quick set-up in a limited-space area. These posts can withstand impacts and do not knock down or blow down easily

white_dome_delineator_topWhite Dome Top Delineator Post

These bright white posts have very similar benefits to the Diamond Style Post described above. These white dome posts are perfect for Valet Parking or other areas where a more sophisticated look is needed.

Tuff Post high performance channelizer

Tuff Post is a high performance channelizer designed to meet the harsh demands of high speed, high traffic areas. Tuff Post has been tested to sustain 50 impacts at 50 MPH with little damage to the unit and to the impacting vehicle, while remaining upright with no vertical listing.

Tuff Post is ideal for exit lane delineation, head-to-head traffic separation, urban turn restrictions, edge line delineation, or anywhere that durable, flexible, high performance channelization is required. Tuff Post’s patented reactive spring system ensures the post will return to its original position impact after impact, reducing replacement costs.

Flexi-Guide FG336UR Post Reflective

The Flexi-Guide FG336UR was developed for demanding high-speed, 2-way, 2-lane detour operations and has become the industry standard for toughness, impact resistance and long-lasting performance. It conforms to MUTCD and NCHRP 350 standards and features the unique clover-leaf design that allows tubular post to rebound time after time.

The Delineating Post is excellent for pedestrian safety, while also providing a great visual for the driver of a vehicle – keeping everyone safe in concentrated traffic zones.

If you are interested in learning more about the alternatives for delineating traffic posts, whether in a construction zone or a permanent traffic pattern, contact Traffic Safety Direct

Alternative Barricades for Safety at Road Construction Sites

During the construction process, traffic patterns will be disrupted. This is due to a combination of temporary routes and detours. Traffic safety products are required to meet the requirements identified in Traffic Control Plans.

To help identify the different zones of a road construction site, barricades are used. There are many different barricades products. Below we cover popular alternative barricades used at a road construction site to manage detours and modified traffic patterns.

Water Fillable Barricades

water filled barricadeThe best uses for Water Fillable Barricades are temporary work zones, Road Detours, Sporting Events, Construction Projects, Demolition Areas, Theme Parks, Airports, Parking Garages.

These water fillable barricades are light weight and can conform to any road way design. No heavy machinery is needed to install. But, they can be picked up by a forklift.

Breakaway Barricades Type III

breakaway barricade Type IIIThe Breakaway Barricades Type III are NCHRP 350 compliant. There are two pieces that are comprised of a top U channel that snaps into the second piece, which is the bottom base.

They never rust or splinter. Ballasting is with water (warmer climates), sand or sandbags. So they are quick and easy to set-up or take down.

Classic Folding barricade

classic folding barricadeThen there is the Classic Folding Barricade that are the standard for high quality traffic barricades. Since these are plastic, they are a safer alternative and have a lower liability than metal or wooden barricades. They come with provisions for mounting light.

A-Frame Barricade (leg)

A Frame BarricadePlastic A-frame barricades take the place of their wooden counterparts reducing liability and operational expense. A-frame legs accept 2″ x 8″ planks and have holes built-in for mounting warning lights.

Planks come in 8′ lengths as well as reflective sheeting options. Customize your barricades for identification and added theft deterrent. Conforms to M.U.T.C.D.
Note: You need 2 legs and 1 plank to make a set.

Traffic Safety Direct

At Traffic Safety Direct, we provide traffic safety products to keep the road construction sites safe for the workers and citizens. Contact us at Traffic Safety Direct and let us know how we may be able to assist you.

Inland Ports and the Road Construction They Create

Road construction is occurring across the United States. You may be thinking the only reason is to support increased traffic from a growing population. However, you may be surprised that large road construction projects are also created to support commercial traffic for hauling goods to and from Inland Ports. You may be in one of the many States with a developing Inland Port.

What is an Inland Port? 

Traffic safety with road constructionAn Inland Port is a dry port away from the coastal port, but near railways, airports, and road transportation hubs.

An Inland Port performs many of the same functions as a coastal port processing trade and distribution of goods. They are large regional centers serving domestic and international markets with access to large labor forces.

An Inland Port supports coastal ports and enhances our nation’s supply chains. To name just a couple of advantages provided by an Inland Port:

  • Expedited handing and distribution of goods because of easy access to multi-modal transportation, which may not be available at the coastal port.
  • Reduced congestion on over-extended coastal ports that are operating at their maximum performance levels.

As stated in 10 Inland Ports to Watch

Located outside crowded port areas, where land is scarce or not available at all, inland ports’ advantages are well documented because of their positive impact on regional industrial development and because they create space for more buildings in proximity to intermodal sites, thus relieving pressure in port areas and on roadways.

Multi Modal Transportation

As an example, Texas has a developing Inland Port just a few minutes drive south of Dallas and 5, and more, hours north of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican border. This area is uniquely positioned as a multi-modal distribution hub:

  • Union Pacific Southern Dallas Intermodal Facility
  • BNSF Railway (Planned Intermodal Facility)
  • Four Major Highway Connectors (I20, I45, I35, Loop 9)
  • Lancaster Airport

Construction is Needed

Road construction is occurring throughout the State of Texas. Some of the construction would be occurring just because of increased population. However, the increased distribution of goods is also creating the need for advanced road design to accommodate increased truck traffic from the gulf of Mexico up to the Inland Port just south of Dallas. To drive from Dallas to the Port of Houston, for instance, is around four hours. The State is large and its economic growth does not look like it is going to pause anytime soon.

The story of economic growth generating increased distribution of goods is happening throughout the United States. The result is an increase in road construction projects, both in progress and in their planning stages. As we have stated in previous posts, Traffic safety is paramount around these construction sites for the drivers, passengers, pedestrians and construction workers.

So, road construction projects you are observing may not be solely due to population growth. With Inland Ports being developed in more than a dozen different locations across the United States. road construction projects will continue to increase.