Contractors advised to be storm-/hurricane-ready

PHILIPSBURG–Contractors and builders are requested to have a plan in place to prepare and secure their construction sites in the event of a storm/hurricane threat to the country. Contractors and home builders are responsible for securing construction sites during severe weather, for the protection of the public, property and surrounding areas.

Plywood, shingles, zinc and other construction material could become flying missiles capable of impaling brick walls or anything in their way.

Construction debris can cause severe damage to property and lead to possible loss of life. With building and construction 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 site.

A tropical storm system could form during any part of the hurricane season, not necessarily during the peak months from mid-August to mid-October.

As a general rule, all construction sites should be kept clean. Arrange timely pick-up of trash dumpsters, only keep materials on site that actually will be utilised during any given week, especially during the hurricane season, and keep construction equipment secure.

Any planned supply deliveries should be postponed if there is a storm/hurricane threat to the island. 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.

Subcontractors should also be alerted to their responsibilities with respect to securing or removing their materials and equipment. Stop job processes that probably will be damaged by the storm/hurricane, such as window installations, house wrap or landscaping. Complete those tasks that probably will prevent damage such as concrete work, closing in a house or filling in foundation excavations.

Follow through with a quick inspection of the construction site. Do not wait until the last minute to inspect the job site, as that time may be needed to go home and secure your own family home. Employees also will need to do the same.

Once the storm/hurricane is over, return to the construction site for damage inspection only when the “all clear” signal has been given by the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) headed by the Prime Minister of St. Maarten.

Keep in mind that damage from the storm/hurricane on other parts of the island may impede efforts for immediate attention to construction sites.

Source: The Daily Herald