Preparing Construction Sites for Hurricanes

Florida is beautiful, after all, there’s a reason it’s called the sunshine state. However, there are a few months out of the year where you’ll have to be on the lookout for hurricanes. Unfortunately, hurricanes come with a lot of wind, rain, and tornadoes. So, it’s only natural that construction sites will face many damages. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that hurricanes and tropical storms will cost $54 billion a year in damages. This fact only emphasizes the importance of developing a contingency plan.

Emergencies and disasters can strike at any time on a construction site, and that’s anywhere, not just Florida. As a result, it’s critical to plan and prepare for disasters like hurricanes ahead of time in order to protect personnel and job sites. Preplanning is one of the most critical things contractors can do to prevent job site damage and keep their personnel safe during a crisis. A business continuity management policy plan focused on recovery and resuming operations can help in this situation.

There are few key things you can do to help create an effective policy:

Lessen the Impact of Hurricanes

These storms have the ability to cause considerable damage, with wind speeds ranging from 74 mph in a Category 1 hurricane to 157 mph in a Category 5. If a construction site is in the path of a hurricane, it’s a good idea to look over the structures to identify what might be vulnerable to damage. 

Contractors can make various upgrades to assist the situation and lessen the risk of significant harm. For example, adding extra roof and exterior cladding fasteners, changing roof ballasts, bracing rooftop components, and applying various graded films to windows are all essential upgrades that can decrease damages.

And then there’s water damage. A hurricane’s storm surge can be up to 20 feet higher than the regular tide when it makes landfall. As a result, it’s critical for builders to assess and update the building’s water damage prevention plan. Because every job site is different, each construction project should have its own strategy. Some common sources of water damage include groundwater, irrigation systems, windows and doors, plumbing, and fire sprinklers.

Safety is Most Important 

The good news is that there is time to prepare for a hurricane. The National Hurricane Center will issue a hurricane warning if a storm is en route to impact your area. The first focus of any policy should be safety. Issuing an evacuation, shelter, or lockdown order, training staff in first aid, so they can assist wounded colleagues by calling emergency services with complete and accurate information, are great examples of safety measures key to enforcing on the team and your constriction site.

Measures to Stabilize and Preserve Property

Slow-moving hurricanes or storms that linger over an area for an extended length of time can wreak havoc on a construction site. That’s why it’s critical to implement property stabilization and preservation procedures on the job. A plan should include a process that addresses damage assessment, salvaging, cleanup, and resources to have on hand. If you’re in the path of a hurricane, one of the best things you can do is check the forecast on a frequent basis.

Knowing what type of storm is coming or the strength of a hurricane when it makes landfall is critical information to have because it will allow your business to minimize damage and save property. Builders and contractors should be aware of how powerful the winds will be and how much rainfall will be brought by a hurricane or storm when it passes through the area, particularly in low-lying sections of the construction site or where equipment is stored.

Here at Waldron Carpentry, we value safety, and that means taking proper precautions and measures. Safety for you, your team, and your construction site are of the utmost importance. The one good thing about hurricanes is that you can prepare. Plan ahead, enforce prevention policies, and, most important, stay safe. 

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