There are few things in life an unpredictable as the weather. And when you don’t know what is coming down the pike, it pays to prepare for the worst.
That advice holds particularly true during hurricane season. The powerful winds and heavy rainfall unleashed by a hurricane can devastate neighborhoods, communities and entire cities. CBO estimates that, on average, hurricanes cost the US $28 billion annually.
And while it is true that coastal communities bear the brunt of the damage, negative impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland. Construction sites tend to be particularly vulnerable. But there are steps you can take now to ensure your project weathers the storm.
Batten Down the Hatches
First and foremost, move any portable equipment or supplies indoors, if possible. Next, secure anything light enough to take to the air. That means tying down or banding together any tools, supplies and equipment that you are unable to move inside. Have you installed new windows? Board them up! Safeguard documentation for any valuable items on your site, and consider photographing the items to prove possession in the event of insurance claims. And it may not be top of mind, but pay attention to the portable toilet on your site by weighing it down with sandbags or concrete blocks and securing it to a strong L shaped structure or sturdy tree.
As the hurricane approaches, the National Weather Service is kind enough to give us updates on its progress. Typically, a watch provides advance notice that hurricane conditions are possible and is issued at least 48 hours before the storm’s arrival. This is the time to get down to your job site and assess what needs to be done to secure it. Once a hurricane warning is sent out, time is of the essence as there will be less than 36 hours until impact. This is the time to make final preparations and then get out of dodge.
Don’t Go Down With The Ship
A hurricane is nothing to thumb your nose at. Even a Category One storm packs winds in excess of 74 mph. So it goes without saying that no one should be working at your project during the storm. Take the threat seriously, and make sure your subcontractors know that you are shutting down your job site until the storm passes. Let them know that you will notify them when it is safe to return.
Ward Off The Wind and Water
With the possibility of exposed piping, storm drains, and underground tanks, your job site faces unique vulnerabilities when it comes to flooding and silt damage. Reduce the chance for catastrophe by protecting these structures with weighted coverings. Also remember to turn off all utilities at their access point. That means shutting down your gas, electricity and water service at the main valve. If your property has a working sump pump, consider installing a battery backup before the storm arrives. Otherwise, you may need to keep your electric on and hope for the best.
As a way to mitigate the risk of water damage, NavCap requires our clients with projects within designated flood zones to purchase flood insurance. Most standard homeowners policies do not cover flooding so special coverage must be purchased via agents participating with the government's National Flood Insurance Program. We are always happy to provide guidance, but there is also lots of good information on the FEMA site here.
Navigator Private Capital has a vested interest in making sure your project stays on track, no matter what the weather. Need specific advice on securing your site? We are at your disposal so feel free to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 443.603.0193. Stay safe everyone!