Hurricane Season is here!
Hurricane season has officially commenced on June 1, 2021. Hurricane season is becoming longer and more intense as climate change triggers more frequent and destructive storms. Global warming has also impacted this in the sense of an increase in the number of storms that move slowly and stall along the coast, which in turn produces heavier rainfall and more dangerous storm surges.
Hurricane Season & the Construction Industry
Needless to say, hurricane season and home/commercial inspections are related. More than ever, during this season, it is crucial to protect your homes and businesses. But it can also get extremely difficult during this season to work in construction sites due to obvious weather challenges.
Labor shortages in the construction trades are still prevalent, especially during a natural disaster. If a major storm hits we can anticipate more contractor, sub-contractor, and labor shortages. By researching ahead of time, construction workers can establish and track storm-induced labor shortages. The same applies to general contractors that need to hire extra crews promptly.
With the help of Inspected, these obstacles can be tackled better & much more efficiently during these challenging times. Our virtual inspection software will allow inspectors to be safe as they do not have to drive from one job site to another. They can simply pass or fail inspections by using our technology from the safety of their homes. Taking away the driving factor during storms in itself is very effective to keep everyone safe.
Protecting your roof during storms is key to protecting the whole house as such storms can wreak havoc onto the roof and entire home as a result. Roof damage can be caused by leaks in the roof decking. These leaks can lead to soaking through ceilings and damaging belongings or even having the entire roof torn apart. For added security, installing hurricane straps are a necessity if an individual lives closer to the coast.
Emergency Standby Generators
Nearly every business type in hurricane-prone areas loses power at some point during a hurricane’s lifecycle, if not multiple times. For some industries such as healthcare, military, and food & beverage manufacturing, the power outages are not just inconvenient and revenue-cutting, but they are life-threatening.
Natural disasters often come unexpectedly with little to no warning. Therefore, it becomes a necessity to secure a backup generator before hurricane season.
There are two types of generator types:
- An automatic standby generator automatically turns on and restores power to your business. Once utility power is restored, it will shut off.
- Portable generators also provide power to appliances for long-term or temporary use. Depending on the size of the portable generator, it can produce enough power for multiple simultaneous functions or completely backup your entire business operations.
How Contractors can avoid losses from an active hurricane season
- Communication: In order to secure the construction site and to ensure the safety of workers, the first and foremost step is to communicate with the whole team. It is important to make sure that everyone on the site is aware of the emergency procedures in case a storm hits. In the case of an emergency such as a hurricane or tropical storm, having everyone on the same page can save a lot of time and money after the disaster befalls.
- Monitor weather conditions: Being aware of the possibility of a storm by monitoring the conditions can help contractors prepare in advance. It will be useless if you take steps and preparations to prevent damages during a hurricane or storm if it was not started in time.
- Establish proper safety procedures for a safe return: Review the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hurricane eMatrix, a comprehensive guide that covers post-storm activities. It provides detailed information and recommendations about how to protect workers when returning to a storm-ravaged area.Pay particular attention to personal protective equipment, safe work practice, and precautions for recovery activities.
Return to a safe work environment
Regardless of proper planning, continuing work on a construction site affected by a storm or natural disaster presents many challenges. In order to safely return to work after a hazard, follow the steps below:
- Inspect the site carefully and determine the extent of the damage.
- Have clear communication with all parties responsible for repairs and clean-up, but notify the owner and their insurer before conducting any repair work.
- Keep a photographic record of the job site and surrounding properties to document the post-storm project condition before returning to work.
- After assessing the structural integrity of buildings, reinforce and secure the property as required.
- Remove standing water.
- Before re-powering, the job site, check all electrical connections, junction boxes, and grounding.