Last Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 22-218 declaring a State of Emergency for 24 counties in the potential path of Tropical Depression 9. The storm has since been upgraded to Hurricane Ian and is expected to further strengthen into a major hurricane.
Residents of the state have been encouraged by DeSantis to make preparations now. In addition to having emergency supply kits stocked with food, water and medicine, it is also time to prepare properties to mitigate potential storm damage.
Each year, hurricanes and tropical storms cause billions of dollars in property damage. Much of it is due to storm surge, wind damage and flooding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people get their homes ready with the following suggestions:
- Clear the yard. Make sure there's nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage the home. Move bikes, lawn furniture, grills, propane tanks and building materials inside or under shelter.
- Cover up windows and doors. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the outside window frames to protect windows. This can help keep people safe from pieces of shattered glass.
- Be ready to turn off the power. If there is flooding, downed power lines or one has to leave their home, switch the power off.
- Fill clean water containers with drinking water in case the water supply is lost during the storm. People can also fill up sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
- Check the carbon monoxide (CO) detector's battery to help prevent CO poisoning.
“Property owners, managers and tenants that do sustain storm damage to their home or business should be aware of a number of potential exposure hazards they could encounter when it is safe to assess and repair their property,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Water damage or excessive humidity can allow for mold growth in as short as 24 to 48 hours. Floodwaters could also introduce sewage and chemicals. Many properties still have lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials that can become aerosolized during cleanup, demolition and rebuilding efforts if not properly handled.”
With multiple laboratories in Florida, and dozens more across the United States and Canada, EMSL Analytical is available to help Floridians identify exposure risks to mold, bacteria, lead, asbestos, sewage, chemicals and other potential dangers associated with storm damage. Their laboratories also offer sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, building inspection tools, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). Last year, EMSL sponsored an educational video about preparing a home for a hurricane that can still be seen at: https://youtu.be/wxoW5DbMwcE
To learn more about indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing or other building science, industrial hygiene, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com . For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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