The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is upon us, running from June 1st through November 30th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an active hurricane season, raising concern with many south Florida residents. However, there are many steps residents, businesses, and even construction companies can take to ensure everyone’s safety during and after a hurricane, if one should occur.
Nothing is worse than having a hurricane pointed directly at you and running to the store to get supplies, only to find that the entire city is out of bottled water and nonperishable food. The best thing you can do is stock up on these supplies in advance. Head to the store now and purchase enough water and nonperishable food to last you and your family for at least a week. By preparing in advance, you will avoid having to fight to get these items like you would right before a hurricane hits, and you also don’t have to worry about any price gouging.
If you do not have hurricane shutters for your home, you should also consider stocking up on enough plywood to cover your doors and windows. The old-fashion duct tape method isn’t going to prevent a window from breaking if it is impacted, but plywood will create a barrier between flying debris and the window. Plywood is one of the first things to hit a shortage when a hurricane is coming, so stocking up now is smart if you have a place to store it. The same goes for flashlights, batteries, candles, and first aid supplies.
Businesses should follow many of the same steps to prepare for a hurricane as residents, like stocking up on water, having window protection prepared, and having flashlights and batteries on hand. Businesses should also consider having a written storm plan in place that includes instructions for technology and document storage. Technology and important documents should be stored in waterproof containers in the case of a hurricane. If none are available, store these items in an area where water damage is least likely, such as on a shelf in a high cabinet.
If you work in the construction industry, you know that securing job sites for major weather events is imperative to the safety of workers and the public. Job sites generally contain materials that could easily be swept away by the high winds of a hurricane. Any equipment or materials that could be blown away by heavy winds must be tied down or stored in a safe place. A good rule of thumb is to assume that anything you cannot store away must be tied down. Items like excess wood, power tools, fence screen, and job signage should be stored in a safe place where it will not be affected by heavy winds. Power and gas to the site should be turned off if possible for safety concerns. This is also a good time to remove any electronic items from construction trailers and transport them to a safer location off site.
The job itself should also be prepared for a hurricane, depending on the work scope involved in the project. If possible, any structure under construction should be reinforced in attempt to prevent damage to the structure. Any openings should be boarded up and sandbags should be placed around the perimeter of the structure. Preparing the structure for high winds in advance will lessen cleanup time after a hurricane. Also, be sure to begin the job site cleanup and preparation process far enough in advance so that work is not being done as the storm is approaching.
While hurricane season holds many threats for south Florida residents, business, and construction companies, being prepared in advance for a hurricane can greatly lessen both stress and damage caused by the storm. Purchasing food and materials before a hurricane threatens your area ensures that you will have access to all of the supplies you need and having a hurricane plan guarantees everyone is on the same page when it come to physical hurricane preparations. As a construction company, we do our best to prepare not only ourselves and our jobsites, but our employees and our neighbors for a hurricane. We understand that hurricanes are stressful on everyone involved and we encourage you to follow the above recommendations in efforts to alleviate some of that stress.