- Feb 25, 2020
From design to build, many things go right. Then the storm hits….
On October 29, 2012 Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New York City, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines with power loss across the city. In the end, Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin. Damage in the US was estimated at $65 billion and many projects in construction were delayed and heavily impacted with damage. These devastating impacts aren’t limited to storms like Sandy. Events like record breaking snowfall, violent tornadoes, destructive hurricanes, widespread flooding, and devastating drought can wreak havoc on the schedule and budget of any construction project.
Events like Sandy can be watched and the path somewhat projected. Others, like microbursts and thunderstorms could have unpredictable winds that quickly damage and can have a debilitating impact to a project. Many unforeseen consequences of a weather event can do their part in delaying the building process. While we can’t control the weather, one element we can control is taking emergency preparedness steps to protect the project’s schedule.
On March 10th, Jim Wills of Gilbane’s partner GRS Reconstruction Services (GRS) is teaming up with Mike Widdekind of Zurich Insurance at the AGC Conference in Las Vegas. There, they will discuss “Before the Storm: How to prepare for a severe weather event and mitigate its impact.” Utilizing the combined expertise of GRS’ disaster and recovery experience with Zurich Insurance’s loss control approach, they will review the essentials of a severe weather plan, identify mitigation strategies, outline preparedness activities, and illustrate how to develop an effective response and recovery operation.
Focusing on the exterior work site, they will examine real life situations and water infiltration mitigation strategies. Hurricane preparedness- including what to do in the 36 hours before a hurricane- and sudden weather events that could compromise construction work sites will also be discussed alongside principals of site preparedness, with site safety as a top priority.
Many of the plans are developed with worker safety in mind. What do you do if lightening is in the area? What do you do if rivers are at crest stage and could overflow? Other mitigation strategies include protecting building materials and keeping them in a place that does not endanger others in the case of a wind event. Who would you call if an event compromised the building envelope? Lessons learned point toward a proactive versus reactive mindset, minimizing time lost.
Contractors can minimize impacts of the next major weather event by considering and successfully building in these mitigation strategies into every project. Join us at AGC for an enlightening session where you will walk away with actions to advance your jobsite’s preparedness through the mindset of workplace safety. The time to prepare is now, not when an impending event is on the horizon.