Cinnaminson, New Jersey, June 3rd
Hurricane season in the Atlantic and Caribbean officially began on June 1st. The season for the Eastern Pacific started on May 15th and both don’t end until November 30th. Scientists at Colorado State University are once again predicting an above-average hurricane season with at least 19 named storms and 9 hurricanes.
Tragically, each year, hurricanes and tropical storms leave paths of destruction and cause billions of dollars in property damage. Much of the damage is due to storm surge, wind damage, and flooding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reminds the public that hurricanes don’t only affect people living along the coast, these powerful storms can cause damage hundreds of miles from shore.
If a hurricane or tropical storm is on its way, CDC recommends people get their homes ready and offers the following tips:
- 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 material 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 prevent CO poisoning.
“For those that do sustain storm damage, it’s important to be aware of a number of potential environmental hazards that may now exist inside of their property once it is safe to assess the damage and begin cleanup and repair efforts,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “One of the most common issues is water damage. Wet materials or elevated humidity levels allow for mold growth in as short as 48 hours. It is also vital to recognize that floodwaters can introduce more than just water, it can contain sewage and chemicals. In addition, many properties still have lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials which can become aerosolized during cleanup, demolition, and rebuilding.”
With laboratories across the United States and Canada, EMSL Analytical identifies exposure risks to mold, lead, asbestos, sewage, chemicals, and many other potential dangers associated with storm damage. EMSL Analytical also provides sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, building inspection tools, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). Last year, they 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 of damaged properties 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 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, VOC’s, 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-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC 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.