Preparedness Can Reduce the Risk of Injury Resulting From Weather-Related Accidents in North Carolina

The aftermath of Hurricane Irene has put many families on the Eastern seaboard in complete devastation, not only to be evacuated from their homes or be without electricity, but some are mourning the loss of a loved one lost in the storm. According to WTVD ABC News, the fierce act of nature took as many as six lives in five different parts of North Carolina.

The following are examples of how circumstances of storms can be unpredictable and extra caution should be practiced to avoid fatal injuries during weather-related accidents in North Carolina.
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One man died instantly when a tree limb fell on top of him while walking near his home in rural Nash County. A 15-year-old girl was killed in a two-vehicle crash at an intersection with malfunctioning traffic signals in Goldsboro. Her family was en route from Myrtle Beach back to their home in Virginia.

Another death occurred in Onslow County when a man was putting up reinforcements to stop the wind destruction and water flow from coming into his house and he suffered a heart attack and died. A mother was killed when a tree limb crashed onto the car while riding in the vehicle with her family in Sampson County. Pitt County reported two deaths. The first death occurred when a man died while sitting inside his home and a tree fell directly on his house. The second casualty in Pitt County occurred when a man attempted to drive through standing water and struck a tree.

Charlotte injury lawyers know that the clean-up process following a storm’s destruction can be just as dangerous as the actual storm itself so use extra caution during acts of kindness to get friends and neighbors back on their feet again.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a warning to clean-up crews and the general public to be aware of the dangers of injuries and illnesses that can be associated with cleaning up after a storm like Irene. People can become at risk of exposure to heat stress, contaminated food and water, carbon monoxide poisoning, downed wires, or be struck by or fall off of large equipment used in the clean-up process. Workers and volunteers have a high risk for injuries leading to broken bones, lacerations, burns, concussions, musculoskeletal injuries or suffocation caused by entrapment or falls.

Preparedness is the first step in protecting you and your family during and after a storm. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration suggests you be prepared by having an evacuation plan ahead of time, learn hurricane terminology and definitions such as tropical storm watch and tropical storm warning, and check periodically with newscasters and local authorities on updated storm information and evacuation instructions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several emergency supply tips which include:

  • Have a 3-5 day ration of food and water on hand using clean containers to store. Estimate up to 5 gallons of water for each member of your household per day.
  • Have a full supply of batteries on hand to coincide with a battery operated flashlight and radio.
  • Keep several baby wipes or disposable cleaning cloths for bathing purposes on hand.
  • Make sure prescriptions or other medical needs are stocked, including a first aid kit.

It is nearly impossible to anticipate what damage or destruction a storm can do to your home but being prepared ahead of time can minimize the dangers and keep your family safe in a weather disaster. Remember to use caution as you put the pieces back together and reduce the risk of injury during clean-up procedures.

The Lee Law Offices, P.A. can help advise injured victims following a weather-related accident in North Carolina. If you or a loved one need advice or want to determine what course of action is needed, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

NC deaths attributed to Hurricane Irene, by Associated Press posted on WTVD ABC News.

More Blog Entries:

New Phone App Can Help Prevent Work-Related Heat Illness at Asheville Job Sites and Elsewhere, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Blog, August 22, 2011.

Residents in North Carolina Asked to Prepare for Hurricane Irene, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 26, 2011.

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