GREAT BAY (DCOMM):—The rebuilding of Sint Maarten is underway post hurricane Irma. There is a lot of construction activities taking place around the country.
Construction materials can be found around building sites as well as old zinc, wood that has been discarded from the house or business under construction.
Contractors and builders are requested by the Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) to have a plan in place to prepare and secure their building sites in the event of a storm/hurricane threat to the country.
These building sites must be storm-ready within a 48-hour period before the arrival of a storm/hurricane.
Contractors and home builders during severe weather are responsible for securing building sites for the protection of the public, property and surrounding areas.
Materials such as plywood, shingles, zinc, and other construction materials could become flying missiles capable of impaling zinc roofs, windows or anything in its way.
Construction debris can cause severe damage to property and lead to possible loss of life. With building activity taking place on the island, every construction site supervisor and/or foreman is advised to have a plan in place with respect to what action they will be taking at their building site whether it’s a small, medium or large house, or business.
A tropical storm system could form during any part of the hurricane season and not necessarily during the peak months from mid-August to mid-October. The country already had the experience of Beryl that formed early July.
As a rule, all building sites should be kept organized and clean to a certain degree. Arrange timely pick up of trash (discarded old zinc, wood etc.) dumpsters, and only keep materials on site you will utilize at any given week especially bearing in mind that we are in the hurricane season and keep construction equipment secure.
All businesses should also see to it that their premises are kept clean of any debris as part of a preventative approach.
Any planned supply deliveries should be postponed if there is a storm/hurricane threat to the island within a 48-hour period.
When a tropical storm or hurricane watch is issued 48-hours before a system is forecast to hit, remove all scaffolding, and remove, or safely secure, all building materials and equipment.
Sub-contractors should also be alerted to their responsibilities as well with respect to securing or removing their materials and equipment.
Stop job processes that will likely become damaged by the storm/hurricane, such as window installations, house wrap, or landscaping. Complete those tasks that will likely prevent damage, such as concrete work, closing in a house, or filling in foundation excavations.
Follow through with a quick inspection of your building site once a tropical storm/hurricane watch has been issued for the country. Do not wait until the last minute to inspect your job site, as you may need that time to go home and secure your own family dwelling. Employees will need time to do the same.
Once the storm/hurricane is over and the All Clear has been given by Emergency Operations Center (EOC) headed by the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, you may return to the building site for damage assessment and inspection.
Remember, to have your building site storm-ready in the event of a storm/hurricane strike.
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