Why A Severe Weather Watch Should Call For Action
- Heightened awareness, such as assigning someone to continuously monitoring local conditions and weather radio.
- Establish Incident Command and appoint staff as needed. Identify who, among available staff, should be prepared to take on key roles in the incident staff for the first two operating periods.
- Alerting all key staff so they can check their supplies, staffing, and scheduling for the coming days.
- Checking your schedule for the next 24 – 72 hours and consider canceling or rescheduling events that might put people in danger should the weather occur.
- Moving up certain activities before the weather will occur. For example, one hospice we exercised accelerated visits to high-priority patients that were scheduled for the next morning, knowing they might not be able to travel after the weather hit.
- Alerting residents, patients, etc. letting them know you are aware, encouraging them to take their own precautions, and reassuring them that you are protecting them.
- Recalling staff or encouraging them to show up early so that they don’t have to travel in the bad weather, and so they can take similar precautions at home.
- Calling vendors and moving up, or delaying, deliveries so that they don’t occur during the bad weather, and so you have the necessary supplies in case roads are dangerous after the storm.
- Securing vulnerable outdoor equipment; bring in or chain down benches, garbage cans, etc. that could become projectiles in severe wind, or which could clog water runoff routes and aggravate flooding.
- Reviewing procedures to follow in the event a watch elevates to a warning.
- Testing the generator, if you have one, and making sure it’s ready to go.
- Charging, testing, and distributing radios or alternate communications equipment.
- Pre-staging repair and recovery supplies. As one client put it: “Let’s get the plywood now; afterward, everyone else will be at Lowe’s trying to buy it!”
- Considering relocation of patients or residents from highly vulnerable locations to less vulnerable ones.
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