Tag Archives: safety

Winter Storm Stella: NYC Issues Hazardous Travel Advisory for Tuesday, March 14

The Weather Channel is predicting Stella will result in 12-18

The Weather Channel is predicting Stella will result in 12-18″ of snow in the NYC metropolitan area.

The New York Metropolitan area is preparing for 12″ or more of snow and high winds on Tuesday, March 14th. New York City has issued a hazardous travel advisory in connection with this storm. We advise all of our clients to follow the precautionary measures listed below.

If you have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, please call to confirm our offices are open before coming to see us.

NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ISSUES HAZARDOUS TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR TUESDAY MARCH 14 

Blizzard Watch in effect from late Monday night through late Tuesday night

Heavy snow and strong winds will create dangerous travel conditions; Alternate Side Parking Regulations suspended Tuesday and Wednesday

March 12, 2017 – The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a hazardous travel advisory for Tuesday, March, 14, 2017. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch in effect from late Monday night through late Tuesday night. A nor’easter is forecast to bring heavy snow along with strong and potentially damaging winds that will create hazardous travel conditions on Tuesday.

 

“We’re preparing for a significant storm on Tuesday, and New Yorkers should also prepare for snow and dangerous road conditions,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Besides the snow, it will be cold. We urge you to avoid unnecessary travel and help keep roads clear for Sanitation crews and first responders.”

“Heavy snow will make travel difficult on Tuesday. New Yorkers should avoid driving and use mass transit when possible,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “We are working closely with our agency partners to coordinate the City’s preparations for the storm.”

A low pressure system develops off of the Carolina coastline Monday before making its way up the East Coast late Monday night. According to the latest forecast, light snow is expected to begin late Monday night, and will intensify overnight into early Tuesday morning. The heaviest snowfall is expected Tuesday morning through the afternoon, with rates as much as 2 to 4 inches per hour possible. Strong winds are expected to accompany the heavy snowfall, with wind speeds 20 – 30 mph, and gusts 35 – 50 mph, creating hazardous travel conditions.  The snowfall is expected to taper off Tuesday evening. A total accumulation of 12 to 18 inches is anticipated, but locally higher amounts are possible. New Yorkers should avoid driving and use mass transit where possible on Tuesday.

New York City Emergency Management also urged New Yorkers of the potential for widespread minor to locally moderate coastal flooding during the Tuesday morning high tide cycle. The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Watch from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesday for areas near the coastline in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and areas along the southern shores of Queens. Minor to moderate flooding of the most vulnerable shore roads and/or properties is possible. Coastal residents should be alert for updates and take action to protect property.

NYC Emergency Management also reminded New Yorkers to prepare for extremely cold temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures Tuesday are expected to be in the upper twenties, with lows Tuesday night in the low twenties. Temperatures are forecast to be at or around freezing on Wednesday.

Snow Preparations

DSNY

  • The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is pre-deploying 689 salt spreaders across the five boroughs. PlowNYC will be activated and more than 1600 plows will be dispatched when more than two inches of snow accumulates.
  • DSNY will assign 2,400 workers per shift. Workers will be assigned to 12 hour shifts beginning at 7 a.m. Monday.
  • DSNY has 283,000 tons of rock salt available.
  • Garbage/recycling collections will be suspended once snow operations begin.

DOT

  • Alternate Side Parking is suspended Tuesday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 15, to facilitate snow removal operations. Parking meters are in effect.
  • DOT will deploy crews to pre-treat pedestrian overpasses and step streets, and ensure that ferry terminals and municipal parking garages are pre-salted in advance of any snow.
  • During snow operations, DOT typically deploys more than 400 personnel and more than 100 pieces of equipment, including nearly 80 trucks for plowing over several shifts.
  • The Staten Island Ferry is expected to run on a normal schedule, but all passengers should allow extra time should weather conditions impact the schedule.
  • Citi Bike service is expected to remain in service until further notice.

NYC Emergency Management

  • NYC Emergency Management is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm’s track to determine the impacts to New York City.
  • NYC Emergency Management has begun hosting daily interagency conference calls with City and state agencies and public and private partners to coordinate the City’s preparations for the storm.
  • NYC Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center will be activated Monday evening to coordinate the City’s response to the storm’s impacts.
  • NYC Emergency Management has begun extensive outreach to elected officials with the latest information regarding the storm’s track and potential impact to the City.

Homeless Services

A Code Blue Weather Emergency notice is issued when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., including National Weather Service calculations for wind chill values.  No one who is homeless and seeking shelter in New York City during a Code Blue will be denied. Should you see a homeless individual out in the cold, please call 311 and an outreach team will be dispatched to offer assistance. Code Blue Weather Emergencies include the following options for the homeless:

  • Shelters: During a Code Blue, shelter is available system-wide to accommodate anyone who is reasonably believed to be homeless and is brought to a shelter by outreach teams. Accommodations are also available for walk-ins.
  • Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24-hours per day when Code Blue procedures are in effect and will assist as many people as possible for the duration of the emergency. Drop-in staff can also make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
  • Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported directly to these low-threshold housing options.
  • Street homeless outreach: Teams will contact vulnerable individuals on their Code Blue Priority Lists a minimum of once every four (4) hours beginning at 8 p.m. during Code Blue Alerts and once every two (2) hours beginning at 8 p.m. for Enhanced Code Blue Alerts to encourage them to accept transport to a safe place. DHS coordinates borough-level Code Blue efforts directly with agencies such as NYPD, DSNY, and the Parks Department.

Travel Safety Tips

For Motorists

  • Use mass transportation whenever possible. If you must drive a vehicle, monitor weather and traffic reports for the latest road conditions.
  • Drive slowly. Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
  • Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
  • Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they do not stop quicker than other vehicles.
  • Keep the name and phone number of at least one local towing service in your vehicle in case you break down or become stuck in snow.
  • If you get stuck on the road, stay with your vehicle and contact a towing company.

For Pedestrians

  • Exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible.
  • Wear layers including a hat, gloves/mittens, and a scarf to stay protected from the cold.
  • Keep clothes and shoes dry, if a layer becomes wet, remove it.
  • Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
  • Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
  • Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.
  • Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls from icy conditions.

Coastal Flooding Preparations

 

NYC residents living in coastal areas expected to experience minor or moderate coastal flooding should take the following preparedness steps:

  • Learn the safest route from your home or workplace to safe, high ground in case you have to evacuate. This should be part of your household emergency plan.
  • Prepare a Go Bag that you can grab in case you need to leave your home in a hurry.
  • If you live in a flood-susceptible area, keep materials, such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber, on hand to help protect your home.
  • Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels.
  • If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving or use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • When outside, avoid walking and driving through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.

Safe Home Heating Tips

Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.

Fire safety tips:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every room. Test them at least once a month and change the batteries twice a year.
  • Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use. Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day.
  • Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. Never drape clothes over a space heater to dry them.
  • Never leave running space heaters unattended, especially around children. Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug anything else into the same outlet when the space heater is in use. Do not use space heaters with frayed or damaged cords.
  • If you are going to use an electric blanket, only use one that is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase. Also avoid tucking the electric blanket in at the sides of the bed. Only purchase blankets with an automatic safety shut-off.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Carbon monoxide comes from the burning of fuel. Therefore, make sure all fuel-burning devices such as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers are properly vented to the outdoors and operating properly. If you are not sure, contact a professional to inspect and make necessary repairs.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Most homes and residential buildings in New York City are required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors installed near all sleeping areas. Owners are responsible for installing approved carbon monoxide detectors. Occupants are responsible for keeping and maintaining the carbon monoxide detectors in good repair.
  • If you have a working fireplace, keep chimneys clean and clear of debris.
  • Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal barbecue grill, kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters. Kerosene heaters and propane space heaters are illegal in New York City.
  • The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. Severe poisonings may result in permanent injury or death.

If a carbon monoxide detector goes off in your home get outside immediately and call 911. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside immediately and call 911.

For more winter weather safety tips, visit NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free, official emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or email alerts about winter weather conditions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit NYC.gov/notifynyc, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

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Cutting Corners Costs Lives: Non-Union Work Sites Twice As Dangerous As Union Sites

This large inflatable rat is a common sight at protests of non-union worksites in New York City.

As an attorney who practices in the metropolitan area, I often find myself traveling into New York City. I am amazed at the amount of construction that I see; the cityscape is changing and evolving rapidly. This construction boom means more business, a steady paycheck for workers, and more money for the city and state. Unfortunately, with the rise in construction also comes a rise in safety violations, injuries, and fatalities.

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) recently issued a report called Deadly Skyline regarding construction fatalities in New York State. A summary of their findings notes that from 2006 through the end of 2015, 464 construction workers died while on the job, with falls as the leading cause of death. When a fatality occurred, safety violations were inherent in more than 90 percent of the sites inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The report pointed out that non-union work sites had twice the safety violations of union sites, and in 2015, 74 percent of the fatalities occurred on non-union projects with the majority of the fatalities involving Latinos.       

It is painfully obvious that shortcuts and cost-saving measures result in injury and death. Many employers use misclassification as a means to save money. Misclassification occurs when an employee is labeled as an “independent contractor” so that a business owner doesn’t need to pay Workers’ Compensation insurance, Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment taxes. Some even resort to paying employees off the books as well in an effort to save money. This may not seem troublesome until you realize that this is a one-sided deal that really only benefits the employer. According to the NYCOSH report, misclassification of workers allows an employer to skirt the safe workplace requirement as OSHA does not cover independent contractors.

Employers must provide Workers’ Compensation insurance for their employees, and typically must notify their Workers’ Comp carrier as to the number of employees they have and the type of work they do. A risk analysis is performed and then employers are assigned a premium to pay in order to cover their workers in case of injuries. If injuries occur, premiums may be increased accordingly. Obviously employers in high-risk businesses must pay more for their premiums than those with employees involved in low-risk jobs. As injuries on misclassified workers do not add to an employer’s bottom line, there is less incentive to provide safety measures if it cuts into profits.

To make construction sites safe, NYCOSH recommends adequate education and training as well as legislation to punish those whose willful negligence causes a death. They also recommend passage of the NYS Elevator Safety bill that requires the licensing of persons engaged in the design, construction, operation, inspection, maintenance, alteration, and repair of elevators. It would also preserve Section 240 of the New York Labor Law, commonly referred to as the “scaffold law,” which governs the use of scaffolding and other devices for the use of employees. Weakening the Scaffold Law would shift safety responsibility from owners and general contractors who control the site, to workers who do not control the site and are in a subordinate position.

It is a true tragedy when someone is maimed or killed in an accident that could have been prevented. Not every employer engages in these tactics, and most workplaces are generally safe spaces for workers. However, even one death is too many. 

 

 

Catherine M. Stanton is a senior partner in the law firm of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP. She focuses on the area of Workers’ Compensation, having helped thousands of injured workers navigate a highly complex system and obtain all the benefits to which they were entitled. Ms. Stanton has been honored as a New York Super Lawyer, is the past president of the New York Workers’ Compensation Bar Association, the immediate past president of the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group, and is an officer in several organizations dedicated to injured workers and their families. She can be reached at 800.692.3717.

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Finding A Way Forward: How I Am Greeting The New Year With Optimism

I recently saw a quote that said “we are all just a car crash, a diagnosis, an unexpected phone call, a newfound love, or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person. How beautifully fragile are we that so many things can take but a moment to alter who we are for forever”.   

During this holiday season, many of us will get together with our families and friends to celebrate our blessings but never expect that in the blink of an eye our lives can change dramatically. A very good friend of mine was celebrating Thanksgiving with her family when a pot of boiling water fell onto her and she suffered severe burns. After spending nine days in the Burn Center and in weeks of excruciating pain, she is living proof that there are no guarantees in life.  

A recent report by Fox News USA shows that unintentional shootings spike during the holidays and are more likely to occur than at any other time of the year due to a number of factors, including increased use of alcohol, holiday gifts of firearms, and children and teens being home from school with more free time. Many of us now rely on online shopping for our holiday gifts, which increases the amount of delivery vehicles on the road. Car crashes spike, as the December holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the years. Factor in weather that does not always cooperate, and impaired drivers on the road as a result of holiday gatherings, and it is a recipe for disaster. Those who drive for a living are at an increased risk of injury or even death. 

Those who work in the retail industry are not immune from increased risk of injury either. Many of us won’t forget the Black Friday stampede in 2008 when a worker was trampled to death in a Long Island Walmart. In response to that tragedy, the company was fined, they agreed to adopt new crowd management techniques, and  the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for retailers. The stress of the holidays can cause depression, less sleep, and financial woes that can translate into violence. OSHA notes that workplace violence has remained among the top four causes of occupational death. 

But the promise of tomorrow brings optimism. As we embark on a brand new year, many of us will feel a sense of relief as 2016 was a year filled with turmoil. The presidential election was polarizing for many Americans. Friends became enemies and family members would not speak to one other. Many of us will look to the new year with a sense of a new beginning – a chance to have a fresh start, a renewal of sorts. Many of us will make resolutions to lose weight, to end a bad habit, to become a better parent, spouse or friend. Many will donate to charities. Despite our differences and shortcomings, Americans are among the most charitable nation in the world. According to Giving USA’s annual report in 2015, Americans gave an estimated $358 billion to charity the prior year. There are so many things we can do to improve our lives and the lives of those in our community and our nation. The list of possibilities is endless. For those of us who represent injured workers, we resolve to make workplaces safer and ensure that medical and indemnity benefits are available in the future. Wishing you all Peace, Love, and Good Health in the upcoming year.

 

Catherine M. Stanton is a senior partner in the law firm of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP. She focuses on the area of Workers’ Compensation, having helped thousands of injured workers navigate a highly complex system and obtain all the benefits to which they were entitled. Ms. Stanton has been honored as a New York Super Lawyer, is the past president of the New York Workers’ Compensation Bar Association, the immediate past president of the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy  Group, and is an officer in several organizations dedicated to injured workers and their families. She can be reached at 800.692.3717.

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A Day At The Amusement Park Can End In Catastrophic Injury

While at a party recently, a friend of mine was checking Facebook and relayed to us in a near panicked voice about an amusement park rollercoaster that fell off its track and killed 13 people. The group he was addressing had very mixed reactions. Some reacted with horror and shock, but others playfully advised him that they had seen this story before and it was actually a hoax. 

Thankfully that latter was correct and the story was in fact a cruel hoax. However, this served as a reminder that unfortunately not all visits to amusement parks end happily.  This is peak amusement park season as many camps are finished and summer vacation is still in full swing. I remember vividly going on class trips from Stella Maris High School to Great Adventure Amusement Park in New Jersey.  We were deposited at the park and directed to meet back at an appointed time. It was exciting as we were essentially left to our own devices. As we were all in high school, there were no age or height requirements put upon us, so no ride was off limits. We went on all the rollercoasters available to us at that time, all the thrill rides, and we were scared silly in the Haunted House.  All of the girls had a great time; we all returned to our assigned meeting place at the end of the day and were deposited safely back at the school parking lot. A year after I graduated from high school, a fire in the haunted house at Great Adventure killed eight teenagers. Even today, more than 30 years later, the memory of that tragedy still lingers. 

Most of the millions of visitors to amusement parks every year leave with fond memories. However, for some a day at the park ends with injury or worse, even death. Just a couple of weeks ago in London, four people were injured on a ride called the Smiler when it slammed into an empty car, and 16 people were left dangling for four hours. In 2013, a woman was killed in Texas when she was thrown out of her seat while on a rollercoaster. The causes of injuries or even death in amusement parks can include rides that malfunction, human error on the part of the operator or the participant, all of which may result in brain injuries, aneurysms, drowning, broken bones, or head, neck, and back injuries.

 

Currently there is no federal oversight of amusement parks. Regulation is left to the state and local governments. According to a  report in US News and World Report, some parks fail to turn in their safety reports that include affidavits in which inspectors attest they’ve performed the inspections required by law.  According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), currently 44 of 50 states regulate amusement parks. Those that do not are Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah, and according to the website, these states have few if any parks.

Since federal safety officials are not allowed to address safety on rides, the state must bear the full burden of oversight that includes data collection, technical investigation of the accidents, and negotiating mitigation of manufacturing defects. It is debatable as to whether or not state or local agencies are putting the proper resources into these programs. Amusement parks can be a lot of fun but when it comes to putting your trust in the park, you should know the risks. Follow the safety regulations put up at the parks, know your limits, and have a great time! 

Catherine M. Stanton is a senior partner in the law firm of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP. She focuses on the area of Workers’ Compensation, having helped thousands of injured workers navigate a highly complex system and obtain all the benefits to which they were entitled. Ms. Stanton has been honored as a New York Super Lawyer, is the past president of the New York Workers’ Compensation Bar Association, the immediate past president of the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group, and is an officer in several organizations dedicated to injured workers and their families. She can be reached at 800.692.3717.   

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Happy Memorial Day!

On tihs Memorial Day, we at Pasternack, Tilker, Ziegler, Walsh, Stanton & Romano LLP honor all Americans who have died while in the military service and we honor all of our courageous men and women in uniform. We take this day to reflect, but also to celebrate the freedom that their sarifice has afforded us.

We wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day.

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Insurance Companies Join Coalition to Mitigate Natural Disaster Risks

Volunteer groups are providing assistance to residents of Union Beach, N.J. who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Volunteer groups are providing assistance to residents of Union Beach, N.J. who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA

Today’s post comes to us from our colleague Jon Gelman from New Jersey.

As weather patterns have changed, and 100 year storms seem to be occurring across the nation every year, insurance companies are joining others in a coalition of other voices to speak out on mitigating damages and presenting harm to workers.

The dangers to first responders and rescue workers have become enormous. NJ Governor Chris Christie spoke out on Saturday Night Live about the unnecessary increased risk, when even city mayors of costal communities defy evacuation orders, and unnecessarily put  workers in harms way. He called those who defy evacuation orders “idiots.”

Name-calling doesn’t solve problems, but reasonable action does. SmartSafer.org was established to support and advocate for smarter, more effective policies to help people in need, promote disaster safety and preparedness, and foster sounder environmental stewardship of our fragile coastal ecosytems.

“We simply can’t go on subsidizing enormous numbers of people to live in areas that are prone to huge natural disasters.” Eli Lehrer a member of SmarterSafer.org, a Washington-based coalition, on subsidies for rebuilding coastal communities.

Read the complete article in the NY Times: As Coasts Rebuild and U.S. Pays, Repeatedly, the Critics Ask Why

….

Read more about Hurricane Sandy

NJ Provides Workers’ Compensation For Hurricane Recovery

Nov 12, 2012

As Hurricane Sandy recovery workers descend on NJ by land, sea and airlift, by the thousands, energized and fueled by caffeine, to work long and tiring hours, to do treacherous and hazardous tasks, they need to understand …

http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/

OSHA urges hurricane recovery workers to protect themselves

Nov 05, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is urging workers and members of the public engaged in Hurricane Sandy cleanup and recovery efforts in New York, New Jersey and the New …

http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/

Workers’ Compensation: Hurricane Sandy Relief: US Resources

Nov 06, 2012

Safety is a primary issue when you’re recovering from a disaster. Follow these tips to help ensure your safety and cope with the disaster. If you aren’t able to return home, states, tribes, localities, and the Red Cross continue to …

http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/

Deadly Asbestos Exposure Threat Left by Hurricane Sandy

Nov 04, 2012

The path of destruction to buildings caused by hurricane Sandy has created a potential threat of deadly asbestos exposure. Many structures destroyed and damaged by the storm contained asbestos fiber and those were …

http://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/

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Tips for Disabled Persons to Prepare for a Hurricane

President Barack Obama receives an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Pete Souza

Today’s post comes to us from Jon Gelman of New Jersey. We encourage everyone to be especially conscious of safety during Hurricane Sandy.

Disabled persons have special needs and special actions are required to help disabled individuals in advance of of a hurricane. 

For the millions of Americans who have physical, medical, or other disabilities, emergencies such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes present a real challenge. The same challenge also applies to the elderly and other special needs populations.

“Individuals with special needs are in the best position to plan for their own safety when disaster strikes, because they know their own personal needs and limitations,” said Sandy Coachman, director of the Austin Transitional Recovery Office operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “However, their unique needs may require more detailed planning and involve neighbors, friends, family, co-workers and personal care attendants.”

While preparing their own plan, family members with relatives in nursing facilities also may want to contact the facility’s administrator to see what its emergency plans are and to make sure the facility has the family’s communication plan and contact numbers in case of an evacuation, according to Coachman.

For those who have special needs and live alone, FEMA suggests the following four steps to prepare for hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30:

Get informed
Find out about special assistance that may be available in your community through your local emergency management coordinator or local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Make a plan
Decide what you will be able to do for yourself and what assistance you may need before, during and after a disaster. This will be based on the disaster type you might encounter and your capabilities. Consider your needs for daily living, getting around after a disaster or evacuating to a safer area.

Organize a network of assistance that includes care attendants, neighbors, friends, relatives and co-workers at home, school, workplace, volunteer site and any other places where you spend a lot of time. The members of your network should know your capabilities and needs and be able to provide help within minutes. It may be important to depend on more than one person at each location where you regularly spend time since people work different shifts, take vacations and are not always available.

Assemble a kit
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items you would probably need to stay safe and comfortable during and after a disaster. They should be stored in a portable container as close to an exit door as possible. Special needs items should be considered as well, such as extra batteries for hearing aids and wheelchairs; food and water for companion animals; essential medicines, a list of current prescriptions and medications, and your medical history; and type and model numbers of medical devices you need.

Service animals may become confused, panicked, frightened or disoriented immediately before, during and after a disaster. Keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed. A leash (or harness) in your kit is an important item for managing a nervous or upset animal.

If you have been disabled due to a work-related accident or exposure, be sure keep contact information for: your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, names and address of your treating physicians, and your attoney’s contact information with you.

Maintain your plan and kit
Discuss the plan with your care attendant and the people in your network. Review the plan every six months and periodically quiz your assistants about what to do. Ensure that they know how to operate any medical equipment you need. Rotate food and water supplies.

Keep appropriate licenses for your service animal updated and keep them with you in the event you choose to use an emergency public shelter.

Read more about Hurrican Safety for Workers and the Disabled

Oct 25, 2012
The NJ Office of Emergency Management and the National Hurricane Center are closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy (“frankenstorm”) as it has the potential to become an historic storm as it moves up the Eastern seaboard …
Aug 04, 2012
Workers’ Compensation insurance provides benefits if an employee is injured because of because of a hurricane. Preparing for a hurricane is important, and that should include reporting work related injuries to your employer …
Aug 30, 2011
Hurricane relief volunteers are entitled to workers compensation benefits for injuries and illnesses that occurred as a result of their participation in relief efforts. In order to claim those benefits injured volunteers need to make …
Aug 24, 2011
The recent earthquake in the northeast US highlights that workers become aware of what to do in case a hurricane strikes. Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually …

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