The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA Houston, Texas, office and the Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) announced they have begun distributing to Chambers of Commerce officials throughout the region a CD entitled “2006 Disaster Preparation Resources,” which provides tools and information to help businesses prepare for hurricanes before, during and after they may hit.
“These resources aim to help businesses review, develop and update their emergency preparedness plans,” OSHA’s North Houston area director John Lawson said. “With major storms predicted for this hurricane season the information may help minimize injury and disruption to operations. While we may not be able to prevent natural disasters or other contingency situations, if we are prepared to respond to them we will reduce the incidence of injuries and business disruption.”
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projected a total of 12 to 15 named storms would occur during the 2006 hurricane season that ends Nov. 30. This remains above the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
“This CD is an invaluable tool,” ASSE Gulf Coast Chapter president Tara Falin said. “Safety, health and environmental professionals all along the Gulf Coast are urging businesses to plan now for any type of contingency situation that could occur, especially when people and communities are at risk.”
To prepare for crisis situations, it is important to integrate emergency preparedness into an organization’s overall safety management system; to conduct a vulnerability assessment of the organization to determine the probability and impact of a loss; to activate an up-to-date response management plan in the event of an emergency; and, assist their organization in its efforts to recover from a crisis.
“While organizations may have an emergency preparedness and response plan or program in place it may need to be updated and revised to consider the full range of events and threats to employees and to business continuity,” OSHA’s South Houston area Ddrector Charles Williams said today. “We believe this CD can help businesses begin that process.”
For more information visit OSHA’s Web site at www.osha.gov or call the OSHA South office at 281/286-0583 or OSHA North at 281/591-2438. Emergency preparation information can also be found on ASSE’s Web site at www.asse.org/newsroom.
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