How to Protect Construction Site Assets During Stormy Weather

Storm Preparedness Plan Checklist

Storm Preparedness
Get Storm Ready. Photo USACE HQ Flickr

How would you protect and secure your assets knowing that a storm is about to hit your construction site? Start by putting together a storm preparedness plan before is too late. Some companies will generate site specific plans ahead of the storm season to identify how to prepare, organize and manage employees and assets during a crisis. The Storm  Readiness Plan should be carefully developed several months ahead of the storm season by the actual members who will take a leadership role on this plan.

Builders and contractors lose millions of dollars annually due to the lack of a Storm Preparedness Plan, thus the reason so many insurance companies are now asking for these plans during the storm season and prior to issuing a coverage for a builder's risk policy

How to Make a Better Storm Preparedness Plan

If you have decided to put a plan together, these are the essentials items that you will need to take care of before creating the plan or as part of the storm plan:

  1. House keeping is important, so keeping the site clean is a must.

  2. Take photos -- record project status before the storms hit.

  3. Instruct your crew leaders not to start any new jobs and complete jobs in progress.

  4. Perform a complete full maintenance of mechanical and electrical equipment.

  5. Check and maintain proper supply of sandbags and other water detention items that must be needed during an emergency.

  6. Secure trailers and staging areas at least one month ahead of the storm season.

  1. Store inside buildings small items that can be carried away by storm winds or rapid flowing waters.

  2. Include in your plan your subcontractors' materials, personnel and property. Share this with all your employees.

  3. Make sure electronics devices are equipped with batteries and keep extra batteries handy.

  1. Check and perform weekly tune-up for your emergency power generator system.

  2. Check and replenish your office with flashlights, emergency kits, and other safety related material.

  3. Stock with sufficient drinking water to supply at least five days without potable drinking water from local municipality.

  4. Prepare a complete office material supply for several days.

  5. Store important documents on a high safe place or in a place where neither water nor wind can damage them.

  6. Instruct your key personnel on what to do if an oil spill is noticed.

  7. Assign key personnel to execute specific functions once the storm is scheduled to hit the area.

  8. Establish the communication system to inform employees about upcoming news and requirements during the emergency.

  9. Review your builder insurance coverage against storm events. Keep a file of all insurance documents properly stored, probably at a different location.

  10. Review your contract on how to mange request for contract extension due to weather delays..

  11. Post the procedure in a conspicuous location.

    How to React During the Storm 

    This part of the Storm Preparedness Plan must be executed once the storm is imminent and the warning of severe weather has been issued.

    1. Assigned personnel should inspect and clean construction site of debris and possibly hazardous objects.

    2. Dismount all scaffolding and secure properly.

    3. Protect all underground piping and underground drains to prevent any accumulation of sand inside.

    4. Postpone any scheduled delivery at least two days after storm arrival or one day after storm occurrence

    5. Disconnect all power lines and remove temporary connections susceptible to damage.

    6. Cover all hazardous materials and any materials with contamination potential.

    7. Cover and secure all window and glass openings with storm shutters.

    8. Booms should be laid down if time permits or the load line hooked to the structure at some low point.

    9. Cover or remove dumpster and trash from the job site.

    10. If possible close any open excavation that might be filled up with water.

    11. Dismantle all temporary wood and fences that could be lifted by high winds.

    12. Confirm all storm water inlets and catch basins are free of any material that can lead to obstruction.

    13. Secure in a proper area all heavy equipment including cranes, elevators, sky-lifts, and other high-altitude equipment.

    14. Prepare a first shift crew, relief crews, standby crews and cleaning crews.

    Continue Reading...