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How to Prepare for a Flood Hitting Your Work Site

Learn How to Prepare for a Flood

Flooding can be one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit an area, so having your workplace prepared with a flood response plan is crucial.

Every moment before a flood hits can be spent making the right decisions, getting everyone to safety and ensuring that the needed provisions are at hand. Without knowing how to prepare for a flood, these moments will be instead spent panicking, making uncertain decisions and potentially placing people’s lives in danger. Read more

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Are You Ready for a Hurricane?

Far too many contractors are not prepared for severe and inclement weather on the job. Especially in the South along the coasts, hurricanes can wreak havoc to job sites several times a year. If you are not prepared, you are asking for losses to the tune of anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, loss and liability. Make sure that you are ready the next time a hurricane roars its way across your job site.

The Action Plan

Every contractor should have an action plan in place to reduce the dangers of hurricane season. Driving rain, high winds, lightning and other hazards are rampant during these months and it is vital to know how to handle it.

This plan should designate a specific staff member who is responsible to keep an eye on the weather reports, a method of communicating these reports to workers and management, routes for evacuating the site, head count procedures, gathering areas and procedures for locking down equipment as well as shutting down the site. Regular safety meetings should be held to review and update these procedures.

Hurricane Hazards

A hurricane forms over water, and then moves toward land. Just about the only nice thing about these weather disasters is that they tend not to catch you off guard. You will have plenty of warning before the hurricane hits — to the tune of several days. The hazards presented by hurricanes include:

  • High, damaging winds
  • Deluges of rainfall that can cause severe flooding
  • High waves that pose a danger to life and property
  • Drowning from flooding or waves
  • Severe damage to utilities, vehicles, structures and roads
  • Flying debris that can be deadly
  • Sudden surges in storms

Preparatory Actions

It is vital to take the proper preparatory and safety actions against this type of severe weather event. First, be sure you are covered with flood insurance, equipment insurance and general liability insurance.  Remember that with a hurricane you’ll have several days to prepare for the storm’s arrival and put your plan of action into play. Take this time to get an early start and be very thorough in your precautions and safety plan implementation.

Actions to Take

There are several standard possible actions that you should take when the hurricane rolls in. First, do not remain near the shore. Get your people and equipment as far from the shoreline as humanly possible. Pack up your equipment, lock it down and remove it to a safe area that is preferably built to withstand the gale-force winds that will soon hit. Any booms, cranes, aerial lifts and similar equipment should be lowered and removed. These items can form deadly projectiles if caught in high winds.

If an evacuation order comes down, don’t question and don’t ignore. Get out of the area immediately. Do not ever try to return to the area until authorities issue an all clear and give permission for people to come back. Even after the hurricane passes, unstable structures and standing or flowing waters can pose a danger.

When all is said and done, your solid insurance policy should hopefully cover any damages you suffer. If you need to check your policy or upgrade it for better cover, we can help. Contact us for a quote today.

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Atlantic City Announces Infrastructure Improvements

Atlantic City Announces Infrastructure Improvements!  While Atlantic City’s casino’s may be fighting to stay competitive, which has some residents concerned over the future of the southern New Jersey hotspot, the local and state government have been investing an endless supply of capital into the city’s infrastructure. According to the Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC of America) New Jersey branch Atlantic City will receive over $60 million in infrastructure improvements designed to protect the cities roads, buildings and walkways from flooding. The investment was announced by the city’s Planning Director Elizabeth Terenik on the 25th of July and should provide local contractors with plenty of employment opportunities over the next few months.

After laying out the details of the project at a monthly public forum at the Atlantic City Free Public Library Terenik seemed ecstatic about the news.

“It’s great news, because investing in infrastructure is necessary for any economic growth we experience,” the director said in a statement to Press of Atlantic City.

Projects Announced

Listed below are a few of the projects announced by the AGC of America from the largest investment to the smallest.

  • $50 million to reinforce the seawall and boardwalk from Rhode Island Avenue to Gardner’s Basin
  • $6.3 million to restore the Baltic Avenue Canal which currently runs underground from Rhode Island Avenue to Georgia Avenue
  • $4.8 million will be invested in a flood mitigation project at the Sunset Avenue Bulkhead
  • $1.7 million in boardwalk improvements by the Public Works Department
  • $1.1 million to pave Maryland Avenue from Brigantine Blvd. to Pacific Avenue
  • $1 million to pave Arctic Avenue from Indiana Ave to Delaware Ave
  • $964,000 to pave Pacific Avenue
  • $450,000 for a flood mitigation project at Massachusetts Avenue
  • $289,000 to pave Marmora Avenue from Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd to Pacific Ave
  • $276,200 to pave Pacific Avenue
  • $200,000 stabilization project of the waterfront at South Boulevard (Chelsea Heights)
  • $200,000 in repairs to the Flood Texas Avenue Bulkhead

Other projects were listed, but we were unable to get investment numbers for those projects. Be sure to keep your eyes on the developments in Atlantic City as there should be plenty of employment opportunities over the next few months.

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Rebuilding Together: A Beacon of Hope in Uncertain Times

In this week’s Contractors in the Community post we’d like to highlight a group of contractors who have risen above and beyond the call of duty to restore hope to those still living in homes affected by Hurricane Sandy. The organization, known as Rebuilding Together, provides critical repairs, accessibility modifications as well as other upgrades to those who may not be able to afford it. Last weekend, the Jersey City chapter of Rebuilding Together and 35 of their volunteers sought to restore hope to some of its’ residents. Read more

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Hurricane Sandy debris removal scams have feds worried

When people think about the impact of a superstorm or a hurricane they typically think about the damage inflicted upon people’s homes as well as their communities. They think about rebuilding and creating a new hope. What they don’t consider is all of the rubble (left behind by the storm) that must be cleared away before contractors can even think about setting foundations and paving new roads. It’s not a particularly fun job but it’s a necessary one if the community is ever to regain some semblance of normalcy.

After major tragedies there are plenty of stories of contractors doing the right thing (and sometimes going above and beyond that) to help those in need yet (like every profession), there are those who will abuse their position in order to gain either political leverage or some form of illicit cash flow. That’s exactly what happened in Belmar, New Jersey as federal auditors have recently questioned over $500,000 in Hurricane Sandy debris removal costs, which apparently stem from a suspicious relationship between two firms and a local politician.

Matthew Doherty, the mayor of Belmar, has recently come under increased scrutiny from the federal government. Auditors from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General found that both J.H. Reid of South Plainfield and Ferreira Construction of Branchburg (who both have relations to Mr. Doherty’s wife) accounted for over half of the town’s debris removal costs (roughly $1.6 million dollars in all).

Doherty claims that the costs were substantially higher than they should have been as they were awarded on an emergency basis. Though the costs may have been higher it is not immediately apparent why the federal government has become involved. But, look a little closer at the report and it becomes much clearer. The town of Belmar wants the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cover $285,000 in markups. A price Inspector General has refused to accept on the condition that the firms used a cost-plus-percentage-of-cost method of billing which does not adhere to federal regulations.

Using that method of billing and the relationship to Mr. Doherty’s wife both firms were able to charge a sum that was substantially higher than the norm. With superstorms and hurricanes frequenting the East coast more often towns and local governments should take care to come up with a reasonable plan of action for debris removal that will increase the incentive for contractors to control costs and hopefully result in a much smoother phase of redevelopment. With debris still littered across the tri-state area keep your eyes open for those who may be misusing their power when it comes to clean-up. We would much rather have good contractors such as yourself rebuilding neighborhoods instead of those who may do more harm than good. Happy building!