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Is Your Construction Business Prepared for Hurricanes?

Harbor America - Jul 31, 2018, 7:00:00 AM

Hurricanes can be very destructive, but they are also often predictable, which allows your construction business time to plan and prepare for the weather event. If a job site is located in an area that regularly sees hurricanes, your business should have a hurricane plan in place to prevent any loss at the job site.

palm tress blowing in the wind as a hurricane approaches

Preparing For Hurricanes: The Necessities

A project office or trailer should be equipped with a portable battery-operated weather radio and extra batteries in order to keep up with the potentially devastating weather. You will also need to determine what the potential risk is to your area and have the job site surveyed for exposure to high winds and flooding.

Here is a list of things to do to prepare your construction business for hurricanes: 

  • Develop a checklist. A checklist should be developed to identify needs of protection including heavy equipment, generators, tools, trailer equipment files, compressors, large machinery, fuel tanks, vehicles, permanent materials, and forms. 
  • Create list of emergency phone numbers. Develop a list of emergency phone numbers and e-mail addresses for employees, subcontractors, other workers, and authorities and distribute the list.
  • Have a relocation plan. Be ready to relocate all equipment and workers in the case of a hurricane. If the job site is on or near a body of water, be ready to relocate all equipment including any watercraft being used. Account for the amount of time it will take to relocate. 
  • Obtain the necessary supplies in advance. Some supplies that are helpful during a hurricane include tie-downs, banding material, blocking, and anchors. When a tropical storm has been identified, make sure all of these supplies are readily available and organized to quickly be used. 

Stages of a Hurricane

There are also different stages of a hurricane that should be watched and monitored closely. A construction business should treat every stage seriously, and they should also prepare for each stage carefully. The different stages include tropical storm, hurricane watch, hurricane warning, landfall, and post hurricane. 

Tropical Storm

Once a tropical storm has been identified, the construction business should carefully track the location of the storm and monitor its activity. The necessary supplies to protect equipment and materials should already be purchased and ready to use if necessary. 

Hurricane Watch

By the time a hurricane watch has been put into place, the project manager should review the hurricane preparedness checklist and formulate a plan to protect the job site. Any items that need to be tied down or banded together should be identified, and the business should be prepared to quickly secure these items. 

Hurricane Warning

A business must be ready to take action at this point. Project superintendents should be ready to implement all protection measures. Ensure that all materials are stacked and banded and that all items that can be damaged by water are removed.

Landfall

When landfall is close to occurring, the hurricane plan should be finalized. All work should be suspended, employees should be evacuated and relocated to a safe and secure location, and new timetables should be assigned for completion. 

Post-Hurricane

After the storm has passed, start by assessing the damage, taking the right steps to prevent theft, and beginning to clean up. Look for hazards such as unsafe structures, downed power lines, or damaged electrical panels. Secure the site and notify utilities of any damages. Also, notify employees when it is safe to return to work. 

Improve Your Hurricane Safety Plans With Harbor America

A hurricane preparedness plan is important for keeping your employees safe and securing materials and equipment on the job site. By preparing and having a plan, a construction business can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. If you are looking to improve your safety plans, please contact us today! At Harbor America, we help you improve your safety and reduce your risks while saving you time and money. 

Topics: Hurricane Season- Construction- tips for construction business owners- Risk Management- Safety Plan

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