Safety After The Storm: 2006 Hurricane Season Clean-Up Advice

To prepare for the 2006 Hurricane Season, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) Education & Research Foundation strongly encourages residents of storm-prone areas to follow basic safety steps when using outdoor power equipment for storm clean up. When used safely, outdoor power equipment can be an efficient and beneficial tool.

Before a storm, check to make sure the equipment is in working order, has fuel and is ready to use. Store with appropriate safety gear like gloves, eye and ear protection.

After a storm, emergency and medical help may be difficult to obtain. Prevent post-hurricane accidents from happening. Users of all outdoor power equipment are urged to:

  • READ the operator's manual before operating equipment
  • Keep children and pets away from work area
  • Dress properly for the job: wear proper footwear, snug clothing, gloves and eye/ear protection
  • Clear area before starting
  • Handle gas carefully and shut off engine when refueling
  • Keep hands and feet away from ANY moving parts
  • Use appropriate tool to clear any jams only after shutting off engine
  • Do not operate when tired or under the influence of alcohol or medication
  • Operate only in well-ventilated areas

For generator operation:

  • DO NOT operate power generators in enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can become concentrated in enclosed areas and cause serious injury or death

For chainsaw operation:

  • Do not overreach
  • Secure footing, plan retreat path
  • Be aware of "kick-back", a violent reactive force propelling the cutting bar back toward the operator

Clean up can be safe. Spread the word on safe use of outdoor power equipment. For more key safety materials, please visit

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