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.

 

Neighbors Become First Responders When Weather Conditions are Severe

The hurricane season has just begun and it has come at us with tremendous force. Accompanying the hurricanes are violent tornadoes that form further inland, as the hurricane becomes an inland storm. The impact is felt over many miles.

The hurricane season is proving the Weather Company’s forecast to be true. They said:

“Increases in tropical Atlantic sea-surface temperatures and a quick start to the season have compelled us to move our forecast numbers up from 15/8/3 to 17/9/4 in this month’s update,” said Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at The Weather Company.

Emergency response teams have been well prepared for these severe weather conditions. As we stated in our previous post, volunteer emergency response teams have been practicing all summer.

Emergency response organizations often use summer charity events to ensure precision execution of their processes and procedures.

The emergency response teams include government agencies. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Amateur Radio Operators (HAM) to name just a few.

However, in this hurricane season, we see, more than ever, neighbor helping neighbor. The reason is the devastation has been so great that these communities could not rely merely on trained and practiced organizations. Each and every citizen has been given the opportunity to become a ‘first responder’.

There are several factors that cause this situation during major catastrophic events. One main issue is that the typical first responders cannot get into the areas that need the most assistance. Roads are closed off and the situation has become so dire that it is too dangerous to enter these areas that need the most help. But already within the devastated area are individuals with skills and physical capabilities that can assist those that are not as fortunate.

In these recent extreme weather events, human nature has been at its finest.

Volunteers put themselves into danger to assist those in need. Each volunteer needs the equipment to help them stay safe. Below are some devices that any citizen can have on hand and available, if they are called into action. These devices help keeping the volunteer safe and adds to their capability to provide assistance.

Vacuum Mount LightStar_9100LEDV_Light_Amber

The Star Contour™ is made to “contour-fit” to the roof of your vehicle. The injection-molded polycarbonate base combines with a rubber-coated vacuum magnet to “custom” mount onto your vehicle. The result is a perfect fit with no scratches to your paint. It is Extremely low profile with a full 360° LED light output and a super bright M-Tech® LED technology that provides superior warning light image.

D-Beacon

d_beacon_2The D-Beacon LED flashing light with a viewing distance of up to one mile, can easily be mounted on any vehicle using its’ magnetic base, and instantly convert any normal car or truck into an emergency vehicle without wiring or mounting

The D-Beacon can also be adjusted for Dusk to Dawn operation only with a flick of a switch, making it truly the only economical alternative

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.

Be Prepared

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 help, answer questions, and share our experience.

 

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.

 

Signs That are Lightweight, Weatherproof and Reusable are Great for Outdoor Sporting Events

Summer is approaching. Now is the time when the weekend sports enthusiasts are looking to sign up for their favorite annual sporting event.

The weekend event options are limitless. Some are golf or archery tournaments; cycling or running rallies; and so many more. No matter what the preference, the weekends will be active in amateur and charity sporting events.

Hosting and organizing these events can be quite a challenge. In a previous post, we discuss Who Are Those People Managing Traffic Safety in Charity Events?

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.

That would be a combination of volunteers and local police officers from the different towns along the route.

The majority of the volunteers are in place for the safety of the participants. Critical assistance to the volunteers regarding safety is proper signage. This is true of route signage and also identification of key locations, like First Aid stations and information booths.

When considering signage for an outdoor event, an excellent material to use is Coroplast. This material enables a lightweight sign that is durable and weather resistant at an affordable price, even in low quantities.

Coroplast Sign
Example of Coroplast sign

Coroplast® is a registered trademark of Coroplast, LLC. The term coroplast has become a generic term for all corrugated plastic because of its popularity. It has the appearance of plastic cardboard. This is the key to its light weight and resistance to different weather conditions.

Is Coroplast® recyclable? Coroplast, an Interplast Group Company, says:

A: Yes, in most cases, standard Coroplast plastic sheets are 100% recyclable. We encourage the recycling of Coroplast plastic sheets. Due to the durability of Coroplast it can often be reused. If the product is no longer usable we recommend removing any non-polypropylene accessories if applicable and recycling. Polypropylene is coded 5 by the Society of the Plastics Industry. Some common uses for recycled Coroplast include automobile battery cases, signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, ice scrapers, oil funnels, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, sheeting, and trays.

Coroplast is lightweight and extremely versatile. It is a popular alternative over rigid plastic signs. They are also preferred over poster board and foam core mounting board. Outdoor sporting events require a weatherproof design that will last so the sign can be reused year after year.

At Traffic Safety Direct, we can develop coroplast custom signs to meet the needs of your outdoor event. This category is so broad that we ask you call us to discuss any custom sign needs 201-327-6050.

Additionally, we carry two types of coroplast sign stakes, economy and plastic Spider stakes. One may be a better choice than the other based upon terrain and use.

 

 

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.