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The Importance of Disaster Preparedness in Construction

Natural disasters and other emergencies can strike without warning, potentially leading to major losses for construction firms that aren’t prepared. In fact, in the absence of a recovery plan, contractors and construction firms risk exposing their business to liability and serious reputational damages.

Although you can’t prevent disasters, you can prepare for them. The following are four important steps all construction firms should take before disaster strikes:

  1. Clearly define the terms used in your contracts. While hurricanes and wildfires will likely excuse you from fulfilling a contract, vague definitions—such as severe rain—may cause confusion. Define such events ahead of time to relieve uncertainty.
  2. Prepare an emergency plan that assigns actions to designated individuals.
  3. Provide disaster preparedness training to employees. Include evacuation processes and proper use of emergency equipment.
  4. Protect project records. Contracts, permits and other physical files can be easily destroyed in the event of a disaster. Cloud-based storage can protect valuable data and ensure you have access to it from any location.

It may also be a good idea to develop an emergency response plan. This plan should account for hazard identification, communication methodology, plan administration and emergency response procedures. In addition, review your insurance policies before beginning big projects.

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