As you probably know, the weather in Texas can be fickle, and if you’re in the process of building a home in the Brazos Valley, or are about to, you may be concerned about how spring storms could affect your construction. The best way to be prepared is just that: prepare. Construction Dive’s guide to storm preparedness for construction sites is a great resource that can help you understand what to expect and how to be storm-ready to protect your College Station custom home.
1. Write out a hurricane preparation plan
You’ve probably created one of these at some point for your family so everyone knows what to do and where to go during inclement weather. But your College Station homebuilder should have one too, so everyone on site knows the safety measures to take in case of a storm. “It's important that all construction companies…have a written plan, whether it's incredibly detailed or just a memo to assign everyone on the project a task to complete in advance of the storm,” they said.
2. Monitor the weather
If you live in Texas, you probably do this already, but it’s extra important when there’s a construction site to think about. You want to make sure everyone stays safe and you protect your investment. “The second step is to monitor the weather on a regular basis, even when there is barely even the threat” of a storm. You can get up-to-date weather information on sites like The Weather Channel and Accuweather, and, if you haven’t already downloaded the apps for your local news and weather stations, now is a great time to do that. If you lose power, you may still be able to watch live weather coverage on your wireless device.
“Weather radios might be a worthwhile investment as well. These devices are configured to receive weather reports and are often equipped with alert capabilities that can be set to sound an audible alert if there is a severe weather event in store for the broadcast area. One of the primary benefits to this type of radio is that many are powered by batteries, solar or even a hand crank to ensure a steady stream of weather information, even during power outages.”
3. Work with local building departments
A good thing to ask your builder is if they “have communication with local building officials” about their severe weather plans. A coordinated effort can provide an extra layer of protection for everybody.
4. Secure job site materials
Making sure the jobsite is safe is a daily concern after you have bought College Station land and are building a custom home. But, strong storms can create dangerous conditions, especially with flying objects. “Once it looks like a storm will be passing close enough to a project, it's time for jobsite personnel to perform critical tasks, such as securing materials, trash, tools or other debris that can take flight in heavy winds, including items like dumpsters and portable bathrooms — the latter of which are typically made of lightweight fiberglass.”
Your builder will want to remove any cranes that are on the property. “Items like fence screens and job site signage also must be removed, and any in-progress utility systems must be protected” from excessive water. “Now is also the time to take any moveable electronics and project documents from the construction trailer and transport them to a safe location offsite. Power to the site must be turned off, if possible, and fuel must be made available to power generators if there is no power post-storm.”
5. Plan for water removal
If excessive rain or floods are expected, you’ll want to make sure your builder has a plan for quick, safe water removal.
6. Secure hazardous chemicals
Are their hazardous materials on your construction site? This may not be something you have ever thought of, but now that you are, you’re surely going to want to as your Brazos Valley home builder how they secure the materials in case of a storm. This is an important step,” said Construction Dive. You can check with Environmental Protection Agency for a list of chemicals included in their Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA). “If any of these chemicals are in danger of being released into the environment, contractors must have a third-party team ready to come in immediately after the storm passes to perform," Maricha Ellis, of Stericycle Environmental Solutions, told them.
7. Ensure the security of the structure
“Now that the items on the periphery of the project are secure, it's time to safeguard the structure itself. If work has progressed on a new building to a point where water can significantly damage the interior — crews should board up any openings and accessible windows and place sandbags around the perimeter.”
8. Assess the damage with caution
Your first inclination after a storm, and after you make sure everyone is safe, will probably be to go check your Brazos Valley home under construction. But, you’ll typically have to wait until “local authorities have given the go-ahead” and your builder deems the worksite safe for you to visit. “It's important to use caution when navigating every area of the project site, especially those with standing water, as the accompanying sharp or jagged debris could pose a danger. It's also essential to use the same care when entering a building after a storm because, depending on the extent of the damage, some structural elements could be compromised.”
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