Learn How to Protect Your Jobsites from Flooding

Safety
Published
Contacts: Brad Mannion
bmannion@nahb.org
(202) 266-8265

Jonathan Falk
jfalk@nahb.org
Disaster Relief and Preparedness Field Specialist
(202) 266-8375

As spring rapidly approaches, so does the risk for unexpected severe weather, storms, and flooding across much of the US. Flooding is a particular risk for many communities across the country, as heavy rains can swell rivers and streams or cause dangerous flash flooding that can cause damages to homes, businesses and jobsites.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released its 2024 Spring Hydrologic Outlook. In 2024, NOAA is forecasting a below- to near-normal chance of river or tributary flooding. Despite this, NOAA continues to urge caution that even though the overall risk of spring flooding is below average, this does not guarantee that high impact flooding will not occur and is entirely dependent on precipitation levels through the spring months.

In response to the risks posed by flooding, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released its Flood Safety Campaign with new tools, resources and information to assist communities and businesses in preparing and responding to these events.

These resources from the CDC include important safety guides for those working in the home building and construction industry, such as:

To further prepare home builders and those working after flooding, NAHB released the Jobsite Disaster Safety Toolbox Talk, available in both English and Spanish and also embedded below, offering the following recommendations:

  • Avoid active flooding or wadding into standing flood waters, as these waters can be contaminated with biological or chemical agents that can cause irritation, injury or death.
  • Maintain good hygiene during cleanup operations. To avoid waterborne disease, it is important to wash your hands with soap and clean, running water, especially before work breaks, meal breaks and at the end of the work shift.
  • Mosquitoes and other insects can multiply following flooding events, and cause bites and spread illness. Decrease this risk of mosquito and other insect bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and by using insect repellents.
  • Conduct a preliminary worksite inspection to verify stability before entering a flooded or formerly flooded building or before operating vehicles over roadways or surfaces.
  • Do not work in or around any flood-damaged building until it has been examined and certified as safe for work by a registered professional engineer or architect.
  • Do not electrify any outlets, services, wires or equipment that have been submerged until checked by a qualified electrician.
  • Washouts and trenches must be supported, or their stability verified, prior to entry or work beginning.

For more information, visit the Disaster Resources Toolkit at nahb.org/disaster.

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