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Posted on: September 11, 2018 3:15 pm

Hurricane Preparedness At Ocean CityHere at Alban CAT, safety is more than a value, we live it! With Hurricane season in full swing and being more active than it has been for years, Alban CAT with the help of our Safety Manager Rich Foreman has put together this safety guide to Hurricane preparedness for the jobsite and for you.

On The Job Site 

Source – Insurance Services Engineer Bulletin, 1994, United States Department of Energy, Wind Energy Engineer, July 1995.

Property damage from severe weather events can add both cost and time to a project. While it’s not possible to fully predict and react in a timely fashion to strong winds and storms, a documented and practiced contingency plan can help contractors prepare for the unexpected. Protect your site and project timeline by evaluating site-specific risks, properly securing materials and equipment and anticipating alternate construction plans.

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Wind Hazards

Wind damage to structures under construction leads to millions of dollars in damages and delays every year.1 At construction sites, wind damage primarily involves masonry walls, framework, forms and roof coverings. Evaluate your site’s wind exposures to eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of damage or delay.

Brace building components. Tilt-up panels, masonry walls and other building components should be braced and inspected according to engineering design or recommended manufacturer guidelines. Anchor roof panels on partially installed roofs, weld or secure decking each day, and consider covering large wall openings with tarp until windows, doors or glass curtain walls are installed.

Properly store and handle materials for windy conditions. Loose materials such as sand, topsoil and mulch may need to be covered with a tarp or sprayed with water to prevent erosion. Erecting temporary windbreaks also can help keep the stockpile from being blown from the job site. It is also important to secure larger materials (e.g. metal sheeting or plywood), which could become projectiles and cause additional damage. Closely follow crane manufacturers’ guidelines for when operations should cease, and secure all other equipment from impending weather events.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes can be destructive, but they can also be anticipated, which allows time for planning and preparation. If your job site is located in an area subject to hurricanes, have it surveyed to determine the potential exposure to high winds and flooding. Create a hurricane contingency plan to help prevent loss to the job site due to winds, flooding, mud deposition and theft.

Develop a preparedness checklist. Identify areas in need of protection, such as the field office trailer equipment files, tools, heavy equipment, generators, compressors, welding machines, cranes, cranes on barges, tugs, work boats, fuel tanks, permanent materials and forms.

Have a relocation plan. If the job involves work on or near bodies of water, make plans to relocate or protect all equipment and watercraft, including tugs and barges. Account for the amount of time it would take to complete any relocation.

Secure the necessary supplies in advance. When a tropical storm has been identified by the National Weather Service, make sure tie-downs, banding material, blocking, anchors and other necessary protection supplies are available and organized.

During a hurricane watch, prepare to take action. The project superintendent should review the preparedness checklist, formulate a plan to protect the job site, identify items to secure and consider moving material and equipment to higher, protected ground.

In a hurricane warning, prepare for the potential for hurricane-force winds within 24 hours. The project superintendent may need to implement all protection measures.

When landfall is predicted in the area of the job site within 24 hours, suspend all work activities. Complete the hurricane plan by assigning staff and timetables for completion and evacuate all personnel.

After the storm has passed, assess damage, take steps to prevent theft and begin clean up. Hazards may include unstable structures, downed power lines that may still be energized, and wet or damaged electrical panels. Secure the site, including any equipment or materials being permanently installed, and assess and document damage. Notify appropriate utilities and contact your insurance carrier for damage assessment.

Heavy Rain and Water Damage

Water is one of the leading causes of damage to buildings under construction. Heavy rains can flood a site when drainage systems aren’t complete. These same rains can enter the exterior building envelope through unfinished window and door openings. If roof drains are obstructed, the rising water may find another drain path or try to settle across a level surface.

Identify potential for flood and evaluate site drainage. Permanent and temporary drainage systems should be installed, maintained and inspected to ensure they are free of obstructions in the event of heavy rains or flooding. Delay installation of high-value subgrade equipment, such as electrical switchgear, until drainage systems are in place and operational.

Avoid installing finished product, such as drywall, flooring, millwork, etc., until window and door openings are closed, roof is secured and the building is watertight. Use temporary coverings if necessary to protect finished work.

The location and construction of temporary roofs should be part of the construction planning process or where installation of the permanent roof is delayed.

Have a site-specific plan in place, including emergency response, clean-up kit and trained personnel, to assist with mitigating the damage.

What To Plan For ( A Personal Guide)

You’ll need to plan for two situations: Remaining in your home after a disaster or evacuating to a safer location.

Have a three-day supply of food and water on hand — plan for one gallon of water per person per day and food that won’t spoil.

Keep a manual can opener and emergency tools including a fire extinguisher, battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of batteries.

Disaster Supply Checklist

Be sure to gather the following items to ensure your family’s basic comfort and well-being in case of evacuation.

  • Cash — Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods.
  • Water — at least one gallon per person per day for three to seven days, plus water for pets.
  • Food — at least enough for three to seven days, including: Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices, food for infants and the elderly, snack food, non-electric can opener, vitamins, paper plates, plastic utensils.
  • Radio — battery powered and NOAA weather radio with extra batteries.
  • Cell Phone – keep if fully charged, pack your charger or buy a portable battery booster.
  • Blankets, pillows etc.
  • Clothing — seasonal, rain gear/ sturdy shoes.
  • First Aid Kit — plus medicines, prescription drugs.
  • Special items — for babies and the elderly.
  • Toiletries — hygiene items, moisture wipes, sanitizer.
  • Flashlight and batteries.
  • Keys.
  • Toys, books, games.
  • Pet care items, proper identification, immunization records, ample food and water, medicine, a carrier or cage, leash.

Store any important documents in a fire and water proof container.

  • Insurance papers
  • Medical records
  • Bank account numbers
  • Social Security cards
  • Deeds or mortgages
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Recent tax returns
  • Wills

The Importance Of Water

Stocking an emergency water supply should be one of your top priorities so you will have enough water on hand for yourself and your family.
While individual needs will vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate, a normally active person needs at least two quarts of drinking water daily. Children, nursing mothers and people who are ill need more water.

Very hot temperatures can also double the amount of water needed. Because you will also need water for sanitary purposes, and possibly for cooking, you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day.

When storing water, use thoroughly washed plastic, fiberglass or enamel-lined containers. Don’t use containers that can break, such as glass bottles. Never use a container that has held toxic substances. Camping supply stores offer a variety of appropriate containers.

Plastic containers, like soda bottles, are best. Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place. It is important to change stored water every six months.

A lesson that I learned early in life from growing up on a farm: Filling a clean bathtub with fresh water before the storm will supply you with ample supply of water for personal hygiene. If you plan on using the water for personal consumption, make sure that you properly clean your bathtub first –

Be Safe.
Rich Foreman

Important Links

Please bookmark the following websites, and your local county emergency services and follow their Social Media feeds for up to date information. Often weather related emergency information will be released on Social Media before you hear it on other channels.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

Virginia Department Of Emergency Management

Delaware Emergency Management Agency

National Hurricane Center

National Weather Service

Weather.com

Rental Solutions

Alban CAT has the equipment you need to get you through your critical power and jobsite emergencies, from portable power, pumps to equipment you need to get the job done.

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