As the nation continues to grapple with safely reopening following the emergence of COVID-19, it is time to prepare for another significant challenge: hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service – is forecasting a significant hurricane season for 2020, with above-normal hurricane activity particularly likely in the Atlantic Ocean.
Accordingly, the 2020 hurricane season poses a significant threat to utilities, municipalities, chemical manufacturing plants, and refineries – and the safety of their workers who face arc flash and/or flash fire hazards on the job. Early preparation is especially important this year to manage complications caused by COVID-19:
- Preparedness plans will likely need to be adjusted based on the latest COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC and local officials.
- COVID-19 has impacted inventory levels of arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) rainwear available in the market – limiting suppliers’ ability to restock once existing inventory is purchased.
Luckily, with some steps to understand the hazards and the products/solutions available, Tyndale makes it easy to protect workers.
2020 Hurricane Outlook
In the Atlantic Ocean region, which includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, NOAA has projected a 60% chance of an above-normal hurricane season, with 13-19 named storms likely between June 1 and November 30. The organization forecasts six to 10 of those named storms to become hurricanes, with three to six of those hurricanes expected to be categorized as “major” – that is, reaching category 3 or above.
- For reference, the 2019 season unfolded in line with NOAA projections, with 18 named storms and six hurricanes – including three major hurricanes category 3 or above. 2019’s season presented the fourth-consecutive year of above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean, with losses conservatively estimated at $12+ billion.
- Comparatively, in a “normal” Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, there are typically 12 named storms, six of them developing into hurricanes – with three of those six developing into major hurricanes category 3 or above.
Additionally, NOAA has also projected a 25% chance of an above-normal 2020 hurricane season in both the eastern Pacific Ocean and central Pacific Ocean.
How Can I Protect my Workers?
Hurricane season is already underway, and COVID-19 has added additional layers of complication for preparedness and the availability of protective products. Need a hand sourcing and distributing AR / FR rainwear to workers in the field? Tyndale is here to help! Follow along with upcoming posts in our series to:
- Explore quality products and trusted solutions. The wrong AR / FR rainwear can have catastrophic consequences, and the risks are real: your employees trust these products with their lives. Browse quality, industry-recognized AR / FR rainwear from trusted brands in our warehouse, and find out how Tyndale can deliver choice and convenience to your employees while eliminating the burden of ordering, enforcing spend, tracking, and distributing protective rainwear.
- Learn what to look for in AR / FR rainwear. Hint: compliance solely with ASTM D6413, Standard Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles (the “vertical flame test”), is not enough to ensure sufficient protection from an arc flash or flash fire. Only by purchasing rainwear that has been tested in the hazard conditions they’re expected to protect against can you be sure it will perform as intended.
Time is of the essence – follow along with our series and take action to protect workers with the right AR / FR rainwear today.