It’s Hurricane Season, and we know that the best time to prepare for a storm is before it’s even in the forecast.
Marc Reeves, Ajax Building Company’s Florida-based director of safety and risk management, offers the following tips on keeping the flow of communication going if a storm is on the way.
Effective communication ensures that everyone on the construction site is well-informed and understands the necessary actions to take, including:
Sharing weather updates: Communication channels such as email, text messages, or group messaging apps allow project managers or site supervisors to disseminate crucial weather updates from meteorological sources. Timely information about approaching storms helps workers prepare adequately and take necessary precautions.
Emergency planning: Communication allows the team to quickly develop and disseminate an emergency plan. This plan should outline evacuation procedures, designated shelter areas, emergency contacts, and roles and responsibilities of each individual during a storm. Clear communication ensures that everyone is aware of the plan and knows what steps to take in case of an emergency.
Holding safety briefings: Regular safety briefings, ideally conducted before the storm season even begins, help reinforce safety protocols and educate workers about potential hazards and risks associated with storms. These briefings are an opportunity to emphasize the importance of following safety guidelines, using personal protective equipment, and implementing proper evacuation procedures.
After a storm passes, effective communication becomes even
more crucial for the recovery process. Here’s why.
Assessing damages: Communication channels enable site supervisors, project managers, and safety personnel to promptly assess the damage inflicted by the storm. This includes conducting damage surveys, documenting the affected areas, and identifying potential safety hazards that need immediate attention.
Emergency response: In the aftermath of a storm, there may be a need for immediate emergency response, such as rescuing individuals trapped or injured, addressing fallen structures, or dealing with utility disruptions. Efficient communication facilitates quick coordination among relevant teams, emergency services, and authorities to address these urgent situations.
Rebuilding and resuming work: Communication is vital for coordinating the recovery efforts and rebuilding damaged structures. It allows project managers to communicate plans for repairs, allocate resources, and ensure that workers understand their roles in the recovery process. Timely and effective communication also helps keep workers informed about the schedule for resuming work and any safety precautions they need to take during the recovery phase.
Updating Stakeholders: Communication with clients, stakeholders, and insurance providers is also important throughout recovery. Regular updates about the progress of repairs, expected timelines, and any impact on the project schedule or budget help manage expectations and maintain transparency.