Facility Dude

America’s PrepareAthon: Know your natural emergency nemeses

By FacilityDude
Apr 30, 2014

Facilities Management, Industry News

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America's PrepareAthon: Know your natural emergency nemeses Most people can't help but feel a sense of giddiness at the first signs of spring. While this season certainly has its perks, with buds blooming and the smell of freshly cut grass filling the air, Mother Nature can also present some less than pleasant conditions during this time of the year. In celebration of America's PrepareAthon, facility managers and their maintenance teams should take the time to sit down and consider the possibility of being faced with various natural disasters that tend to occur during spring. This way, they can determine if both their buildings and staff members are ready in the event that something does happen to come their way.

What are the chances?

FEMA explained that the first step in being prepared is understanding your risks. Various parts of the country are affected by different kinds of weather, meaning that your facility doesn't face threats of every natural disaster out there. If you familiarize yourself with what could happen in your neck of the woods, you can have all of the resources lined up so you can expect the unexpected, using preventative facility maintenance management to lessen the blow of a possible catastrophe.

Know your disaster risks

Wildfire is the natural force that most portions of the U.S. face, as flames can affect just about anywhere at anytime. Granted, you may usually hear news flashes about these blazes wreaking havoc on the Western part of the nation. That's only because the terrain and dry vegetation tend to lend themselves to throwing fuel on the fire and allowing the flames to spread - but that's not to say that wildfires can't spark in other areas, because they can.

Less common are tornadoes, as these violent spirals of wind do damage in places where the land is flat. Cyclones lose speed when they combat mountainous landscapes, and, consequently, they typically touch down on the plains throughout the middle of the country.

For your facility to face a flood, water must be involved. For this reason, these generally occur in places on the coast or that experience ample rainfall each year. The Northeast is generally a hotspot for floods, in addition to Southern California, Arizona and Texas.

Hurricanes and tropical storms feed off of warm water, meaning that they like to give the East Coast - particularly the southern portion affected by the Gulf Stream - quite the beating. They generally strike when the currents are at the most agreeable temperatures, ranging from early June to late November.

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