Windstorm Safety Rules

Windstorm Safety Rules

Windstorms are one of the biggest problems in every part of the country, and hurricanes are a particular menace in coastal areas.  Here are a few safety precautions that can be taken with regard to windstorms:

  • Have a good flashlight and first aid kit readily available.
  • Be careful of fire. If oil lamps or candles must be used for emergency lighting, use them carefully.
  • A fire extinguisher, kept handy, is a good idea.
  • Keep tools and repair materials handy—hammer, nails, rope, crowbar, roofing paper, slats and so on.
  • Have extra food on hand—food that can be eaten with little or no cooking. Remember that electric power failure may leave you with no refrigeration.
  • Emergency cooking facilities should be in safe working condition.
  • Sterilize and fill jugs, bottles or cooking utensils with fresh water.
  • The water supply may fail. A tub filled with water may also be useful.


There is no universal protection against tornadoes except caves or underground excavations.  When a tornado is impending and time permits, go to a tornado cellar, cave, or underground excavation, which should have an air outlet to help equalize the air pressure.  It should be kept fit for use, free from water, gas, or debris, and preferably equipped with pick and shovel.

If your rig operates in a tornado-prone area, learn your company’s emergency action plan before the storm season begins.  Because of the varied designs and structure of land rigs it is not possible to designate a safe building (structure) on the rig to go to.  If a storm approaches, crewmen should leave the derrick and rig floor and move to a heavy strong structure of the rig that your company has designated to wait out the storm.

If you are in the open country, move at right angles to the tornado’s path.  Tornadoes usually move ahead at about 25 to 40 miles per hour.  If there is no time to escape, lie flat in the nearest depression such as a ditch or ravine.

In a city or town, seek inside shelter, preferably in a steel reinforced building.  STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.  In homes, the southwest corner of the lowest floor or in the basement offers greatest safety.  If time permits, electricity and fuel lines should be shut off.  Windows and doors on the north and east sides of the house should be opened to help reduce damage to the building.  Standing against the inside wall on a lower floor of an office building offers some protection.


It is common practice for offshore rigs to evacuate personnel when hurricanes are approaching.  Follow your company’s Hurricane/Cyclone Evacuation procedures. There are two main issues of safety when a hurricane approaches.  First of all are your safety and the safety of your co-workers.  Second is the safety of the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit, land rig or base. Follow the company’s plan for securing the rig (MODU) then evacuate the rig (MODU) as directed.

If your house is out of danger of waves and is substantially built—anchored to strong foundations and has its roof securely fastened—it is possibly the best place for you to stay in a hurricane.

One or more windows may be kept open on the opposite side to provide the wind’s path some ventilation and to prevent wind damage. Only small openings are advisable as long as the windward side remains intact.  But if windows should be broken on the windward side, additional openings should be provided on the opposite side to equalize pressure.