Keeping Residents Safe During Cleanup After a Catastrophic Weather Event

When a hurricane or tornado has passed, recovery and cleanup operations must begin; and they must begin quickly. Just because the inclement weather has cleared out of the area, the need for safety has not gone away.

Residents that evacuated want to return to see what damage has occurred to their personal property. This is understandable. However, debris is strewn everywhere. Accidents are likely to occur in this scenario

Disaster Recovery crews are working hard to ensure residents are not trapped or lying injured in their homes. Cleanup crews are trying to act quickly so emergency vehicles can move freely through the streets. Residents are tired and emotional, but, feel compelled to check on their homes. This is a very dangerous time.

Below, we cover some of the traffic safety products useful within a disaster site.

High Visibility Apparel

To reduce risk, workers should wear proper safety apparel. Without proper apparel, they are at a tremendous risk of not being readily seen. The proper safety vests will increase the well being of authorized workers.

school-crossing-guard-safety-vest-class-2The safety vests that are the best choice are called High-Visibility Safety Apparel. The vests should meet the standard safety apparel requirements of ISEA “American National Standard for High-Visibility Apparel”. The apparel should be properly labeled as meeting the ANSI 107-1999 standard performance for Class 2.

Electronic Safety Baton

safety batonThe Electronic Safety Baton is the most common light used to direct traffic. This is a LED baton 20″ total length – the red portion of wand 13″ in length. It has 2 Functions: Red flashing and Red steady.

Water Fillable Barricades

water filled barricadeThe best uses for Water Fillable Barricades are temporary work zones and Road Detours.

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.

Classic Folding barricade

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

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.

Be Prepared

If you are interested in proper equipment, such as barricades and safety apparel that help these authorized workers do their job, contact Traffic Safety Direct. We love to help, answer questions, and share our experience.

 

High Visibility Safety Apparel is Critical for Crossing Guards.

Crossing guards are up before the crack of dawn so they can be at their posts in time to protect our children at traffic crossings. Their service is greatly appreciated, especially when you consider that they are putting themselves at risk.

school-crossing-guard-safety-vest-class-2To reduce the risk, they should wear proper safety apparel. Without proper apparel, they are at a tremendous risk of not being seen by a driver. Crossing guards can blend in to the background and not be well seen during the hues of early morning light.

The safety vests that are the best choice are called High-Visibility Safety Apparel. The vests should meet the standard safety apparel requirements of ISEA “American National Standard for High-Visibility Apparel”. The apparel should be properly labeled as meeting the ANSI 107-1999 standard performance for Class 2.

Regarding the use of High Visibility Safety Apparel, the post Tips for Complying with the New Highway Worker Visibility Standard states:

Training Chief Ron Moore of McKinney, Texas, has written a very simple vest policy: “When your feet are on the street, your vest is on your chest.”

Safety for both, our children and the incredible volunteers that protect our children, is critical. Traffic Safety Direct provides a selection of safety vests for school crossing guards, such as the Public Safety Vest Lime Mesh 5-pt breakaway PVC pockets that is Class 2 Ansi/SEA 107-2010 certified. The breakaway pockets are very important in case a pocket is snagged by a moving vehicle.

If you are needing ANSI compliant safety apparel, contact Traffic Safety Direct and let us know how we can help.

 

Who Are Those People Managing Traffic Safety in Charity Events

Now is a good time to take a break from winter and begin planning those spring activities. Winter is peaking and cabin fever is setting in. So, looking forward to spring and summer activities, like bike rallies, charity walks and runs, is a great release.

These activities are possible because many volunteers dedicate their time, and often risk their safety, so that everyone can have a fun and healthy experience.

But, who are those volunteers we see as we navigate the course?

bike-rallyLet’s take a look at the Texas “Head for the Hills”  Bike Rally, as an example. They offer 20, 40 and 60 mile cycling routes through the hills of Texas just south of Dallas. As you ride, you see local police officers within the city limits of the sponsoring town of Cedar Hill. These dedicated servants were up and coordinating their efforts before the crack of dawn.

Then, as you leave the city limits, you notice the pickup trucks ready to help you fix a tire or even take you back to the Start/Finish or the nearest Rest Stop to get personal attention. But, let’s use the correct jargon. Those pick up trucks are SAG wagons. We would properly say “they will SAG you back if you need assistance”. The debate remains as to what SAG stands for. Some say SAG means Support and Gear. But, others say no one is sure anymore. Does it really matter? They are there when you need them. That is what matters.

The SAG wagons are generally fitted with high-tech HAM operator equipment. If you were to have the chance to see Central Control back at the Start/Finish, you would be looking inside a trailer with monitors and sophisticated communications equipment. Several people would be writing things on a big MAP hanging on a wall. Central Control is exactly what you would think it is. Everything happening on the course is being watched and coordinated here.

Looking into that trailer, you would think you were observing a simulation of a disaster recovery exercise. But this is not a simulation. This is for real. The safety of the cyclists depend on this coordinated effort.

On the routes, you may also occasionally see a truck from a local bike shop. This truck is called a Technical Truck. It has all the equipment to repair the most complex Bicycle. Where a SAG wagon operator can do simple repairs, like pump up a flat tire, the Technical Truck can re-balance wheels and more. Local Bike Shops do this function for the charity rally as a volunteer service.

As you continue to cycle, you reach rest stops every ten miles run by more volunteers. The Rest Stops are generally manned by a church, a volunteer organization like the Rotary Club, or a local business.

First Aid Stations also reside at the Rest Stops. They are run by Community Emergency Response Team members, known as CERTs.

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

Best Southwest Regional C.E.R.T. Program
Best Southwest Regional C.E.R.T. Program Texas

CERTs are trained to be the First Responders in the case of a major disaster, such as a tornado. They are exactly who you want treating you if you are exhausted or injured during the bike rally event. They can administer first aid. But they are also quick to call 911 to make sure you have the best care you need. That is what they do – treat and triage.

So who is managing traffic as you ride through the rural routes? That would be a combination of volunteers and local police officers from the different towns along the route. The difficult rural corners will generally be manned by CERTs. The CERT is trained to assist the Police Department in managing traffic flow. However, the rider must be following the rules of the road, first and foremost. The CERT is there to provide assistance to the cyclist, but only a traffic officer can stop traffic.

The safety of the volunteers is as important as the cyclists’ safety. The volunteers are often in precarious situations. That is why it is critical that these volunteers have proper equipment to supplement their training for everyone’s safety.

So next time you are out on a Bike Rally, charity walk or run, wave to that volunteer and let them know how much you appreciate their service. They make it all possible.

safety-vestIf you are interested in the proper equipment that helps keep these volunteers safe, contact Traffic Safety Direct. We love to answer questions and share our experience.