Do You Have a Disaster Plan? Now is the Time to Prepare One

Disaster Response
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September is National Preparedness Month, an annual awareness campaign by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). NAHB strongly urges home builders to use this time to review jobsite and business disaster preparedness. FEMA is breaking the month up into different areas of focus each week:
  • Week 1: Save early for disaster costs
  • Week 2: Make a plan to prepare for disasters
  • Week 3: Teach youth to prepare for disasters
  • Week 4: Get involved in your community’s preparedness
With hurricane season in full swing and Dorian threatening parts of the East coast, now is the time to think about jobsite protections from natural disasters. Natural disasters and other emergencies can create a variety of hazards for workers in the impacted area. Preparing before an incident plays a vital role in ensuring that employers and workers have the necessary equipment, know where to go and know how to keep themselves safe when an emergency occurs. Because homes are built nearly everywhere, the threats posed to workers and jobsites include hurricanes, earthquakes, lightning, tornadoes, high winds, wildfires and much more. Some steps taken to mitigate against natural disasters are obvious. But some might not be intuitive. For example, according to the Builder Hurricane Preparation Plan from NAHB’s Home Innovation Research Labs, all dumpsters should be either removed or emptied once an area comes under a hurricane warning. All material deliveries should be halted under a hurricane watch. OSHA also recognizes the importance of worker safety and the necessity to create, implement and follow plans of action for emergencies. The agency maintains an Emergency Preparedness and Response page that covers most types of natural and man-made disasters. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also maintains to provide the public with resources to prepare for disasters. After the storm, recovery and rebuilding is often a huge undertaking. Builders Mutual has helpful tips for getting the jobsite back up and running, including the imperative to document everything, with paper and pictures. And, of course, check with FEMA for federal resources in your area after a disaster. NAHB has numerous resources for builders, workers, HBAs and home owners facing a natural disaster and cleanup and recovery. If your area is preparing for Hurricane Dorian, visit for state resources. Extra work right now can help builders avoid unnecessary loss, keep workers safe and ensure the job continues as quickly as possible after the incident. For more information on builder safety, please contact Rob Matuga at 800-368-5242 x8507.    

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