How to Prepare your CRE Deal for Hurricane Season

November 8, 2023

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For coastal regions, the hurricane season can bring considerable risk to a construction project. Based on a report by The Office for Coastal Management, hurricanes have caused roughly $742 billion in damages in the past three years. With the height of hurricane season happening between mid-August and mid-October, it is important to be prepared for peak hurricane season. Having over 50 years of construction experience, as well as extensive expertise in building assessment reporting for hurricane-related damages, we have accumulated a few helpful tips to keep your project prepared and reduce unnecessary risk.

1. Pro-Active Weather Tracking

We are fortunate enough to be able to track storms 3-5 days before landfall and tell the severity of a storm as well as where and when it will hit landfall. It is important to keep track of weather patterns to make sure you are staying up to date. Using a weather app that notifies you of extreme weather can reduce the possibility of last-minute scrambling from your project team. This, in turn, alleviates the possibility of quick clean-ups and faulty equipment storage. Further decreasing undue construction risk. If you are alerted that a hurricane will hit your area, try to have a plan in place 24-48 hours before landfall.

2. Assess Property & Secure Materials

Hurricane-force winds can range from 74 mph – 157 mph. If there is any loose material, this could lead to flying debris that could damage your property or the surrounding area. Have a plan in place to store all loose construction materials such as screws, nails, roofing materials, and lumber. Larger items such as toilets, dumpsters, and flammable tanks should be weighed down and secured. Cranes and other heavy machinery should be lowered and stored properly.

Walking through your site to examine your property for susceptible damage is also important. Bracing roofing material and providing window protection are just a few of the upgrades you can make to reduce potential hurricane damage and the likelihood of damage from wind-driven rain. A great way to ensure that these items won’t be overlooked is to create a Hurricane Response and Hurricane Recovery Team. Check with your general contractor to make sure they have a team in place and are prepared well in advance.

3. Confirm a Hurricane Plan with General Contractor

After the storm has passed, it is time to assess damages and start cleaning up. Make sure your general contractor has a hurricane recovery plan in place and that it is communicated with the project team. Safety being of top priority, establish who will assess damages and make sure they are properly informed of safety guidelines. Having a construction risk management company on your side that can provide a comprehensive building assessment will help you and your project team navigate through hurricane damage and prioritize reconstruction.

There is no doubt that hurricanes have the potential to cause extensive property damage and can de-rail a project timeline quickly. With experience helping projects assess damages after storms such as Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Ida, Hurricane Sandy, and Hurricane Katrina, our building assessment services can help you manage your construction risk post-hurricane. Call us at 225-351-2003 or contact us online to learn more about our building assessment services. Experience peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected.

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A woman with curly red hair and glasses, wearing a black shirt, smiling and standing with her arms crossed against a blue and white background.