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Paintshop: Hind-sight Hurricane/Natural Disaster Preparedness

As Hurricane Matthew sauntered to the eastern coast of Florida, the adrenaline kicked in. The list of survival strategies woke me before dawn the day before it was expected to hit land. My feet hit the carpet in a sprint to complete the tasks on our preparedness list.

 

My sister is a veteran preparer for and survivor of category 4 or 5 hurricanes. A pro by my definition, she not only shoulders the responsibility for securing a large home. Also she is responsible for fifteen retail stores in Florida.

 

I, on the other hand, have only four major hurricanes under my belt. With number 5 – Matthew – on its way.

 

 

Major Hurricane/Storm Preparedness Tips for Hotel/Facility Painters

 

1. Throw into dumpster everything that you should have discarded before now.

 

2. Try to prioritize supplies, tools and equipment as follows:

A. Which do you and teammates use the most?

B. Which would be the hardest to replace?

C. Which would cost the most to replace?

    TIP: Then, secure all of the above the best that you can. Get some help to do this.

 

3. TIP: Keep some recovery-type tools accessible such as hammers, screw drivers, battery-operated drills, and heavy duty flashlights.

 

4. Move everything down inside the paintshop. Onto the floor and into the corners of each room in the shop. In the heaviest storage cabinets – solid steel or heavy wood, move items onto the bottom shelves.

 

5. Make certain that all containers’ lids and covers are very tight. You don’t want the wind’s force to blow or pop off paint and solvent can lids. You don’t want it to work off solvent container caps; caulking tube covers, adhesive bucket lids, etc. Note: Minimize your potential clean-up mess as much as possible.

 

6. Use duct tape to tape shut the inside plastic wrapping/tube that houses rolls of wallcoverings. Then, use duct tape to tightly close outer shipping box of each roll. Then, either move boxes of wallcoverings into corners of inside wall closet, or the inner corners of paintshop or restroom.

 

7. Pack away all small, loose tools. Store in base cabinet drawers. Use heavy wire to double tie drawers shut. If drawers run side-by-side, or in column fashion, run steel pipe rod down through all handles. NOTE: New Orleans hotel painter used this in Katrina, and said it worked great.

 

8. Secure small, hand power tools. Tightly wrap and secure electric cords. Stuff tools into heavy storage cabinets (see no. 2), or into drawers (see no. 5). TIP: Wrap heavy-duty freezer bag around electric cord of each tool.

 

9. Pack away all large tools, including their power cords. Place in heavy storage cabinet, or empty 55-gallon steel paint drums. TIP: Hotel painter in South Florida secures a heavy-duty freezer bag a round cord of each power tool.

 

10. Place ladders flat on the floor along an inside wall.

 

11. Then, with extra manpower, push or place all heavy equipment on top of the ladders.

 

ALTERNATE TIP to NO. 8 and No. 9:

12. Lay ladders out, one side frame facing you. Then place against an inside wall.

13. Then, with help, push or place heavy equipment against ladders.

CAUTION: Please take special precautions with everything containing glass, very sharp parts, etc.

 

Bottom line: Safety is key. You want to minimize the risk of anyone getting injured (or killed) because of a container, glass, tool, ladder, etc. becoming air-bourne and aiming for a helpless human.

 

Hotel/facility painters and maintenance teammates face the threat of different natural disasters, based on the region of the country in which they work. Many of these events are similar. They feature elements such as very strong, whipping winds; blinding rains and flooding; and extreme temperatures.

 

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Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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