Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Wicked Summer Weather Can Wreck More Than Your Week; Prepare Yourself with These Severe Weather Recovery Tips from CSA Group

June 11, 2012

CLEVELAND, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – With the summer months come fun in the
sun, but the warm weather can also spell trouble. With thunderstorms,
floods, lightning, strong winds, tornadoes, and even talk of
hurricanes, consumers should be prepared for severe conditions and the
aftermath that can sometimes accompany warmer weather.

“While the weather is often unpredictable, it’s probable that many
Americans will experience a moderate to severe weather event in their
area sometime this season,” said Anthony Toderian, safety spokesperson,
CSA Group. “Therefore, CSA Group is reminding people that it’s
extremely important that they prepare now for the severe weather that
lies ahead.”

CSA Group, a leading certification and testing organization, wants to
help people stay safe during the coming summer months by offering the
following safety tips:

The U.S. can expect close to one thousand tornadoes to strike each year
and as many as eight hurricanes.  CSA Group encourages consumers to
remember essential safety tips when it comes to recovering from a
tornado or hurricane:

        --  Return home only when advised by local authorities and obey all
            emergency personnel instructions.
        --  Be prepared with safety apparel and equipment that is certified
            by an accredited certification organization such as CSA Group.
            Basic items should include:
            o Certified protective footwear to protect against electric
              shock, puncture and impact injuries; protective gloves, head
              wear and eye wear; protective masks if airborne biological
              hazards or other toxins such as lead dust or mold may be
            o Personal first aid kit with antiseptic wipes.
            o Portable battery, solar or crank-operated radio to receive
              updates and warnings from local authorities.
            o Clean drinking water.
            o Flashlight or chemical glow sticks (do not use candles or any
              open flame as they may cause a fire or explosion and never
              smoke around damaged buildings or facilities).
            o Before approaching your home, check the surrounding area for
              hazards such as downed power lines, debris, or other dangers.
              Mark and report any hazards or hazardous goods to local
              authorities. Treat all power lines as live and never touch!
            o Check outside the home for obvious structural faults. Do not
              enter if serious structural damage is evident.
            o Examine the exterior for gas leaks or electrical hazards. If
              possible, turn your gas off at the meter. If you can access
              your main electric box without going through standing water
              or entering the home, turn off the main breaker. If the gas
              or electrical controls are inside the home, turn them off
              only after it has been deemed safe to enter your home by
              qualified emergency personnel or a building inspector.
            o Upon entering, slowly and carefully watch for hazards. Beware
              of jammed doors, sagging ceilings or floors that suggest
              structural collapse. Leave immediately if you hear shifting
              or unusual noises that signal the structure may fall or if
              you smell gas.
            o Do not operate gas or electrical equipment until it has been
              dried, cleaned and inspected. Some equipment such as hot
              water heaters may need to be replaced entirely if floodwaters
              have reached the burners, electrical parts or insulation.
              Replace only with certified equipment. Check for broken,
              leaky or shifted water and gas pipes and lines before use.

Nine to 15 tropical storms hit American waters in an average year, often
wreaking havoc. Even an “average” thunderstorm can cause severe damage.
CSA Group reminds consumers to keep in mind the following when dealing
with the aftermath of storms and flooding:

        --  Beware of standing water inside and out that can be breeding
            ground for micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and mold.
            When floodwaters have sewage or animal carcasses present,
            infectious disease is an added concern. Do not use contaminated
            water for cooking or washing.
        --  Everything that has been touched by floodwaters should be
            cleaned and disinfected. Materials that cannot be effectively
            cleaned, such as carpeting, mattresses, and stuffed toys or
            stuffed furniture should be discarded. Remove and discard wet
            wallboard/drywall/gypsum and insulation.
        --  Start the drying process as soon as possible by opening all
            windows and doors to allow fresh air to move freely. Use fans
            and dehumidifiers certified by an accredited organization such
            as CSA Group to aid the drying process.
        --  If your basement remains flooded, drain it slowly and carefully
            only when standing water outside the home is no longer visible
            on the ground. Removing water too quickly from your basement
            may put pressure on your home's outer walls and significantly
            damage or collapse your foundation.
        --  Heating and air conditioning ducts may have mud or debris and
            may need to be cleaned and disinfected.

There are an estimate 20 million lightning strikes in the country, with
an average of one strike every three seconds in the summer. This along
with extreme heat can lead to brownouts, or even blackouts. If faced
with this situation, there are some important safety considerations:

        --  Use generators carefully and always follow instructions,
            ensuring your generator is rated for the amount of electricity
            you will need. To prevent shock, the generator must be properly
            grounded. Only use generators that have been tested and
            certified by an accredited organization such as CSA Group.
        --  Do not connect a generator directly to a home's wiring, which
            could send high-voltage current or "backfeed" to outside power
            lines connected to your house. Backfeed could be fatal to
            electrical workers, neighbours or anyone that touches the power
            line and may cause additional damage to your home.
        --  To prevent fires, never refuel a generator when it's running or
            while still hot and keep an appropriate fire extinguisher
            nearby at all times. Be sure to store fuel containers outside
            and away from buildings or combustibles.
        --  If you must use an extension cord, ensure that it is certified
            for outdoor use and check it often for overheating. Do not
            attach multiple extension cords.
        --  Consider using portable solar panels and battery units for
            smaller appliances.

For more everyday consumer tips and safety advice, please visit www.csasafetytips.com

About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association
dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. Its knowledge and
expertise encompass standards development; training and advisory
solutions; global testing and certification services across key
business areas including hazardous location and industrial, plumbing
and construction, medical, safety and technology, appliances and gas,
alternative energy, lighting and sustainability; as well as consumer
product evaluation services. The CSA certification mark appears on
billions of products worldwide.  For more information about CSA Group
visit www.csagroup.org


Source: PR Newswire