Your Solution for SMART Response Plans

Top Flood Emergency Response Plan Tips

Posted on Mon, Apr 01, 2013

Spring brings warmer weather and longer days, but it also brings a variety of weather conditions that can result in heavy rains and flooding. Floods are one of the most common hazards across the United States. They can develop slowly over a few hours or days, leaving ample time to prepare and implement established flood procedures. However, flash floods can develop within minutes from intense rainfall, tropical storms and their remnants, or dam failures several miles upstream from a facility. Facilities must have an established and exercised flood emergency response plan in order to minimize the potential impact on life, the environment, and business operations.

The National Weather Service offers real time river observations data across the United States. Monitoring water levels allows companies to determine the likelihood of flooding resulting from local conditions, and enables prompt and accurate response decisions. In addition, offers a variety of assessment tools, including a free hypothetical flood risk scenarios guide that can assist companies to better protect against financial losses due to flooding. Developing a flood emergency plan can prepare employees and facilities before, during, and after a flood to minimize health and safety impacts.

The following flood planning tips can be implemented to minimize risks to your business or industrial facility:

Flood Fatalities - TRP Corp

  1. Assess the flood risk potential in your area. Be aware of stream, ditches, drainage areas, and other low-lying areas on the property.
  2. Map facility and identify multiple access and egress routes.
  3. Familiarize staff with the evacuation plan and alternate routes.
  4. Ensure important documents and server(s) are not stored in basement or on ground level and review backup procedures.
  5. Update employee contact lists with alternate contact information in the event evacuation is necessary.
  6. If evacuation is necessary, assign trained personnel to secure the premises and equipment (such as sandbagging and/or extending regulator vents and relief stacks above the level of anticipated flooding, as appropriate.).
  7. Perform continuous monitoring of the flood through various media outlets and weather tracking.
         Flash flood watch:  flooding is possible
         Flash flood warning: flooding is occurring or is imminent
  8. If flooding is probable, request that gas and electric services are turned off.
  9. Communicate imminent flood status updates to supervisory personnel.
  10. Deploy personnel so that they will be in position to take emergency actions, such as shutdown, isolation, or containment in the event of emergency.
  11. Implement developed data backup procedures.
  12. If applicable, identify, contract, and communicate with water damage specialist(s).
  13. Ensure clean-up equipment is available, adequate, and ample. If clean up will be done by employees, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be required. OSHA requires Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cleanup operations if water source is contaminated with sewage, chemicals, or other biological pollutants.
  14. Evaluate the accessibility of necessary equipment (such as valves, storage sheds, regulators, relief sets, etc.). Mitigate accessibility, if possible.
  15. Consider obtaining portable pumps and hoses from local suppliers.
  16. Unplug all electrical devices.
  17. If applicable, determine if flooding can expose or undermine pipelines as a result of erosion or scouring.
  18. If applicable, coordinate with emergency and spill responders on pipeline location(s) and condition, and provide maps and other relevant information to them.
  19. If applicable, advise the State Pipeline Safety Office (for intrastate lines), or RSPA's Regional Pipeline Safety Office (interstate lines) prior to returning pipelines to service, on increasing the operating pressure, or otherwise changing the operating status of the line.
  20. Conduct a post-incident review and identify mitigation opportunities to prevent future flooding impacts.

Download this free 9-Step sample Emergency Response Procedures Flow Chart.

TRP Corp -Response Procedure flowchart

Tags: NOAA, Business Continuity, Flood Preparedness, Workplace Safety, Business Disruption

Informative Videos for EHS Professionals and Emergency Managers

Posted on Mon, Feb 20, 2012

Below are a various informative videos that may assist professionals in emergency response planning.
Note: These video are meant to be informative, and do not replace mandated training.

OSHA Construction Hazard Prevention videos: These based on actual event series of videos demonstrate work site incidences that resulted in an employee injury or death. Corrective actions for preventing these types of accidents are discussed.

How to Use a Portable Fire Extinguisher Training Video: This video was created by the Fire Equipment Manufacturers' Association to train viewers on how to assess a potential fire situation and use a portable fire extinguisher in the event of a fire emergency.

Oil Spill 101: Blocking with boom: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration video on how boom contains an oil spill, including the four main types of boom used

2012 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG): The 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook contains the latest dangerous goods lists from the United Nations Recommendations, as well as from other international and national regulations. The 2012 ERG is designed for emergency responders to quickly and accurately access a HAZMAT incident.

Exxon Valdez: 20 Year later: Detailed video of the historical events regarding the Exxon Valdez spill that resulted in the passing of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90 ).

Incident Command System: Positions & Responsibilities: With the Salvation Army as the backdrop organization, this video highlights the roles and responsibilities of key positions within the Incident Command System.

Sorting Out SPCC: Video that details the EPA regulated SPCC plans.  Video is directed at new farm regulations, however, the it provides an overview of the EPA's Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Program.

Iron in the Fire: U.S. Chemical Safety Board reviews of chemical dust fires in 2011.

For a sample Emergency Response Checklist, download our helpful and informative guide.

Tags: NOAA, Fire Preparedness, Emergency Management, Incident Management, SPCC, OPA 90, Oil Spill, Video