Hurricane Season 2020: Staying Safe During the ‘New Normal’

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasted a 60% chance of an above-normal season this year, with 13 to 19 named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes with wind speeds of at least 39 mph), six to ten hurricanes (category 1 or higher with winds of at least 74 mph) and three to six major hurricanes (category 3 or higher with winds of 111 mph or higher).  

The average season produces 12 named storms, with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. This year’s hurricane season already set a record for the earliest fifth named storm ever when Tropical Storm Edouard formed almost two months earlier than the average fifth named storm.

While we have all been preoccupied trying to stay out of the path of the global pandemic, that doesn’t mean we should put off planning for a major storm that could threaten your food or beverage facility’s operation. In fact, COVID-19 is going to present an entirely new dynamic to hurricane preparedness and evacuation plans as people try to uphold social distancing.

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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.

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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.

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5 Keys to Forming a Comprehensive Food Plant Emergency Action Plan

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.

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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.

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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. Continue Reading “3 Keys to Handling Crisis Communications for Your Food Manufacturing Plant”