Although extreme weather events and natural disasters are an inescapable part of life, their impact on a construction project can be thwarted by planning ahead. When disaster strikes, although a business needs to be concerned for the safety of their employees, construction companies often face the added challenge of protecting and accounting for a workforce spread across multiple worksites in diverse geographic locations. CF Jones Construction takes into consideration the safety of not only your building structure but all the wonderful people inside the walls of that structure. No matter what tragedy has taken place, the actions carried out during an emergency must always be cool and calculated to prevent any unwanted injuries or damages.
The first step in preparing for a weather disaster or emergency of any kind is to implement and conduct a risk assessment to identify potential scenarios and threats. A risk assessment is a process to identify potential hazards and analyze what could happen if a hazard occurs. There are numerous hazards and outcomes to consider when creating a risk assessment. For example, a tornado forecast could be predicted to head towards your business and suddenly intensify into a major tornado landing near you and all of your employees. Having a risk assessment in place for this kind of scenario could not only save you and your employees, but your business as well.
As you conduct and create a risk assessment, look for weaknesses that would make an asset to the business more susceptible to damage. These weaknesses include deficiencies in building construction, process systems, security, protection systems and loss prevention programs. Failure to acknowledge and fix a weakness could potentially cause the damage of an incident to be even greater. For example, if a building were to catch on fire and there was not a sprinkler system installed, the damage to the building would be much worse due to no planning and no arson-related risk assessment.
Acts of Nature
While spring is a wonderful season full of blossoming flowers and a sizzling sun, it’s also the start of tornado season. In the Midwest and Indiana specifically, tornados are very common and should always be taken as a serious threat. Tornados bring many unwanted weather patterns and hazards including rain, hail, flooding, high winds and fallen trees. To successfully prepare your business for such potential damages, one should understand the havoc all of these factors could bring. Rain could cause flooding which, if not treated properly, could turn into leaking roofs and mold. Along with the rain, often comes hail which could also cause some substantial property damage such as roof, siding, and automobile (including body and windshield destruction). The review of exterior signs, windows, and doors, roof coverage, satellites and antennas, et cetera could mitigate potential damage done to the building itself. To prevent further damage following an incident, some strategies may include:
- The use of water vacuums, tools, and fans to remove water and prevent molding
- Tarpaulins and/or plywood to patch up any leaks or holes in the roof
- Plastic sheeting to protect any and all equipment
- Having high-quality commercial insurance protection
Proactive Decisions for Life Safety
Protecting the people that work inside of a building is one of the many important burdens a property owner must take into consideration while preparing for weather disasters. Depending on the severity and type of the disaster, there are different procedures that need to be executed to ensure the safety of all lives within a building. There are four main protective actions for life safety that should not only be routinely practiced, but routinely thought over and updated for maximum security: evacuation, sheltering, shelter-in-place, and lockdown. Educating and informing all employees of these four protective actions is a necessity in any commercial facility.