By Helen Callier
December 14th, 2022
At this writing, tornados are ripping through Texas and a major snowstorm is pounding the Northeast U.S. What we do know is that disasters can strike at any time making disaster preparedness essential. Disaster preparedness is something that all building contractors should address since so many aspects of your job are subject to unforeseen weather changes and other disasters. While it is impossible to predict everything that can go wrong, you can do a lot to ensure your business’s continuity with these five crucial tips for disaster preparedness.
Keep an updated list of emergency contact information.
It is important to keep an updated list of emergency contact information. This should include phone numbers for the local police, fire department, and utility companies. You should also ensure your workers know how to reach you in an emergency. Include home and cell numbers, along with an email address where they can contact you outside of work hours. Keep these numbers updated, so they are ready to go when an emergency occurs. If you have remote workers who may not be close by during a disaster, make sure they have other ways to get in touch with you.
Know the evacuation routes.
Familiarize yourself with the evacuation routes of the job site. If there is a fire, you will be responsible for getting your workers to safety. If a hurricane is coming in, you will be responsible for evacuating your workers before it hits. Know the evacuation routes so that if there is an emergency, you will know how to get everyone out as quickly as possible.
Keep a first-aid kit on hand.
When disasters strike, emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice. Fortunately, there are many things that contractors can do to prepare for these situations. One of the easiest ways to ensure disaster preparedness is by keeping a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand. Be sure to include items like bandages and burn cream in your kit, as well as gauze and alcohol pads in case you need to clean up any wounds. Be sure to replace expired medicines, so your kit always stays stocked with medical essentials!
Train workers in disaster preparedness.
Another important step in disaster preparedness is to train your crew. Your workers should be aware of the different types of disasters that could happen, how they can prepare for these disasters, and what actions to take when an emergency arises. Training will also help prevent panic and confusion in a disaster.
Establish a command post.
A disaster can happen at any time, so it is important to be prepared. A key step to building a disaster plan is establishing a command post. This is where all pertinent information about the emergency will be gathered and disseminated. This can be your office, or you may need to designate an alternate site for your command post in case of flood damage or other disasters that might prevent you from operating from your usual space.
Building contractors should be aware of the importance of securing building permits before any construction can take place. Securing these permits can also be a crucial step in disaster preparedness, as it will help you access important information, such as how to find out if your city is at risk for an earthquake or other natural disaster. If securing the proper permits sounds overwhelming, you can call 1.844.PERMIT.4 for help.
At PermitUsNow, we are committed to pulling permits for our Architect, Contractor, and Project Owner clients without delay, eliminating their frustrations with the permitting process. Plus, we make it easy for you to work with us. Simply: 1) Email us your plans, 2) Follow up on our feedback for any missing items, and 3) Let us get your permitting done for you. So, send us your plans today and we’ll free you up to focus on doing what you love – building your customers’ dreams. #BuildSafe