La. Residents Reminded to Safely Remove Debris Following Hurricanes

December 16, 2005

Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness encourage residents to be cautious when removing harmful debris from homes, yards and roadways.

Debris piles are dangerous – follow the safety guidelines below:

* Do not place debris on or near fire hydrants, utility boxes or gas meters. Dangerous gases could escape if utility boxes or gas meters are damaged during debris removal.
* Keep children away from debris piles. They can be full of broken items, glass, nails, and other sharp objects. Children could easily be injured playing in, around, or on these mounds of debris. The pile may also contain rodents, snakes or bugs.
* Do not allow children near equipment and debris removal operations. Inquisitive children could be standing or playing in the equipment operator’s “blind spot” and may not be seen when equipment and trucks move.
* Keep all open flames and lit cigarettes clear of debris piles. The piles often contain flammable materials.
* Don’t park cars near debris piles. This will make it easier for the equipment operator to pick up the material and reduce possible damage to your car.
* Drive carefully if you’re behind a debris removal truck. Leave a safe distance between your car and the truck. Materials may fall from the truck creating a driving hazard.
* Observe all traffic rules and flagger directions when driving near debris collection sites.

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