Complicated by an unprecedented global pandemic, businesses in Florida’s construction industry have been further burdened by the anticipated challenges of an active 2020 hurricane season. Since June 1st, the industry has been braced for threats to construction sites and businesses while responding to the health and safety requirements necessary to manage COVID-19. Now facing the final stretch of hurricane season and a looming threat from Tropical Storm Zeta, Florida construction businesses should remain vigilant in their storm preparations with protocols ready to implement in the event of a hurricane. The following four phases detail the steps and timing of necessary hurricane preparations for construction businesses to consider:
Florida construction firms are acutely aware of the hazards that hurricanes pose to project sites, particularly, incomplete structures, unincorporated materials and finishes, expensive machinery, and just about anything else that you can think of associated with an active construction site. Many businesses are required to have an Emergency Action Plan that meets requirements set forth under 29 CFR 1910.38.
A thorough emergency and evacuation plan should include the following:
When possible, contractors should endeavor to negotiate contracts and purchase orders prior to hurricane season with pre-negotiated rates and/or delivery schedules that take potential storm activity into consideration. And it is always a good idea to provide local authorities (police and fire departments) with copies of your emergency evacuation plan. Finally, if it appears that the project site might be shut down for an extended period of time, see our other blogposts on avoiding a construction site abandonment situation.
During this phase, the general recommendations are as follows: