Food Plant Emergency Response: What to Do After a Hurricane

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Food Plant Emergency Response: What to Do After a Hurricane

Hurricane Irma (photo source: ABC News)

 

The state of Florida, the Caribbean and portions of the Southeastern U.S. are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma this week. The deadly storm brought damaging winds and torrential rain to the entire Sunshine State, including our headquarters in Jacksonville.

We’re now more than halfway through the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and with more than 11,000 food and beverage manufacturing plants in hurricane-susceptible states on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, it’s critical to plan for the damage a hurricane can bring.

 

Food Plant Emergency Response: Preparing for a Hurricane

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Food Plant Emergency Response: Preparing for a Hurricane

Hurricane Harvey from NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite

 

We’re only midway through the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and it has already been an active one.

Last month, Hurricane Harvey became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. The historic storm dumped more than 40 inches of rainfall in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, breaking records and becoming the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the contiguous U.S.

This week, the state of Florida is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, and food and beverage facilities are making plans to ensure safety and minimize damage.

 

Preventing a Recall: How to Manage 3 Threats Facing Food and Beverage Plants

Minimize the top food safety risks in your food and beverage facility

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Preventing a Recall: How to Manage 3 Threats Facing Food and Beverage Plants

Ask any food manufacturer or processor if they are committed to high safety and quality standards and their answer will, of course, be yes. But even with the strictest standards, thousands of recalls are still issued each year in the U.S. In 2015, the FDA recalled 9,178 products, a 12-percent increase over the previous two years. If you weighed the amount of goods the USDA recalled last year alone, it would be as heavy as 52 Boeing 747 airliners. That’s a lot of product gone to waste.

 

5 Keys to Forming a Comprehensive Food Plant Emergency Action Plan

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green emergency exit sign in public building

Your food processing facility’s commitment to safety starts with being prepared. How do you prepared to be… prepared? With your food plant’s emergency action plan (EAP): a required Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) document that defines employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. While emergency action plans that meet minimum requirements may include emergency information and procedures, they still may not contain enough detail to ensure the safest response to dangerous situations. Your plan must be comprehensive, eliminating all confusion and hesitancy in case of an emergency. A non-comprehensive plan — one lacking extensive instruction or failing to address each emergency — may add confusion to the situation.

 

What Food Processors Should Know About the New Earthquake Building Rating System

USRC’s new rating system gives owners a consistent way to determine facility earthquake safety

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What Food Processors Should Know About the New Earthquake Building Rating System

 

In November 2015, the United States Resiliency Council (USRC) launched the USRC Earthquake Building Rating System, a first-of-its-kind performance rating system for seismic hazards. This system is the first reliable, consistent method to determine how susceptible buildings may be to earthquakes, providing facility owners, insurance providers, and engineers with a better understanding of how to prevent losses. The rating system assesses buildings on three important criteria, each of which is detailed later in this article.

 

How to Prevent and Mitigate Combustible Dust Explosions in Food Plants

Key takeaways from the Food Processing webinar

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How to Prevent and Mitigate Combustible Dust Explosions in Food Plants

Though it can appear harmless and be overlooked entirely, combustible dust is extremely dangerous in food processing facilities. Any solid material composed of distinct particles can present a fire hazard according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

 

4 Common Misperceptions About Ammonia Processes

Takeaways from the Process Cooling webinar

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4 Common Misunderstandings About Ammonia Processes

Recently, Process Cooling hosted a fantastic webinar on ammonia safety, discussing practical advice for industrial refrigeration system operators. As ammonia usage continues to grow with the changing refrigeration landscape, it’s important for all of us to understand ways to keep our plants and personnel safe.

 

Assessing Structural Damage: Your No. 1 Priority After Disaster Strikes

Emergency Response Preparedness Series

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The Most Important Thing Plant Owners Neglect After Disaster Strikes

After a disaster, your food processing plant must get up and running again as soon as possible. Making moves to clean up or sweep debris may be a tempting first response, but it could be deadly. Instead, you must assess for structural damage first.

 

3 Keys to Handling Crisis Communications for Your Food Manufacturing Plant

Emergency Response Preparedness Series

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3 Keys to Handling Crisis Communications for Your Food Manufacturing Plant

Construction projects do not always run as planned, sometimes resulting in emergencies that require immediate reactions. From tornados and hurricanes to roof collapses, I know that emergency response is no easy task. With much to get done, crisis communications used to be the furthest thing from my mind when it came to these types of situations. However, managing the press is key to not only avoiding a public relations disaster, but to protecting your employees and business.

 

8 Ways to Prevent, Respond to Food Manufacturing Plant Explosions

Emergency Response Preparedness Series

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8 Ways to Prevent, Respond to Food Manufacturing Plant Explosions

If your food processing or beverage plant houses an ammonia refrigeration system, an explosion is your worst nightmare. Because your facility is at risk for this type of emergency, it’s imperative to understand both the proactive and reactive measures you must take in the event of an explosion.