For Carriers Assisting with Evacuations or Delivering Aid in Storm-Affected Areas
If your operation has been contracted to assist with the evacuation of residents or delivery of supplies to storm-affected areas, we urge you to review the following important precautions:
Remind drivers to perform a thorough pre-trip inspection as required by federal regulations before departing. The problems of traveling in extreme weather will only be compounded if your equipment fails to operate properly.
Ensure drivers plan the entire route carefully. Drivers should not enter storm-affected areas without a plan about how they will be able to exit the area and finish the trip. They should listen closely to local weather reports and check state Department of Transportation websites and social media sites regularly for up-to-the-minute transportation news and local traffic information.
Have drivers fill vehicle fuel tanks before leaving, and have a plan for obtaining fuel along the way.
Identify locations on higher ground or away from flooding areas to store or park vehicles. Vehicles should be parked away from trees, power lines or other objects that could fall on them.
Identify and secure hotel rooms or sleeping locations for your drivers.
Have a communication system in place, including a plan if cell service is not available, that requires scheduled contact times with your drivers so they can be updated on conditions. Remember to adhere to your electronic device usage policy so drivers are not using cell phones while operating the vehicle.
Provide your drivers with a "Go Kit," which might include: water; food; spare clothing; blankets; a fully-charged cell phone with connectors and chargers; a flashlight and batteries; a first aid kit, and road maps.
Set up a plan for maintenance of your vehicles while they are in the storm area. This should include how to manage minor maintenance issues, as well as major ones.
Closely monitor weather and traffic reports from as many resources as possible, and know when to recall your drivers and vehicles back to your home base if they are in an unsafe area.
For additional information on preparing your operation for a hurricane, please consult the following: