As we approach September, the peak of hurricane season, make sure that your drivers and fleet are prepared for any type of weather situation. The official hurricane season lasts from June through November but as we've seen this year, a storm can form outside of that timeline. Before the season begins, your drivers should have a clear plan on what to do before, during and after a hurricane or major weather event. If you do not have your plan yet, now is the time to act.
This past week, meteorologists have been keeping their eyes on two storm systems which are now confirmed to be impacting the United States by early next week. We are looking at an unprecedented situation of two storm systems in the Gulf of Mexico simultaneously. Although we do not know the exact impacts, storm preparedness is critical for the safety of your drivers and fleet.
Make sure that each driver is stocked with a least a weeks’ worth of the following items:
- Proper clothing, including rain gear with safety reflectors
- Flashlights and batteries
- Non-perishable food and bottled water
- A fully charged portable phone charger
- Full Fuel Tanks
Keep a close eye on the weather. Hurricanes can be unpredictable and will continue to change paths up until the moment of landfall. Keeping up with the forecast and weather alerts from the National Weather Service is essential in order to quickly change your routes and/or your time on the road. Hurricane force winds and storm surges are especially hazardous to CMVs. It does not take much for winds to topple over a trailer. While making any travel changes, it is a good idea to plan multiple routes at once to be prepared for any possible storm path.
When a hurricane is projected to make landfall, it is common for the FMCSA to issue a Regional Emergency Declaration. The declaration grants exemptions to Hours-of-Service and offers exemptions to drivers directly assisting in storm relief, even if they are not from an impacted area.
CyntrX ELD Pro offers the following exceptions for your drivers to note on their logs:
- Relief from Driving Rules for State of Emergency (390.23 State of Emergency)
- 2 Hour Driving Extension for Adverse Driving Conditions (395.1 (b)(1) Adverse Driving Conditions.
- Relief from All Driving Rules for Emergency Conditions (395.1(b)(2) Emergency Conditions
- 16 Hour Work Shift Once Per Week (395.1(0)-16 Hour Driving Window)
From the main screen select
- Options>Exceptions>Add Exception
- Check appropriate box.
- Enter a short text note explaining the reason for the exception.
There is so much uncertainty during a hurricane, but with technology your drivers can stay up to date on weather, HOS regulations and necessary reroutes.
Be prepared and stay safe!