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Flood Preparedness Checklist for Business Owners

Flood Preparedness Checklist for Business Owners

Flood Preparedness Checklist for Business Owners

A flood preparedness checklist can help you avert the devastating impacts of floodwater on your business. This is especially important if you live in a flood-prone region like southern Texas. Although you can use flood insurance to reinstate your business, some damages are irreversible. It’s better to prevent the damages than to repair them.

Many regions in the United States experience unpredictable storms and flooding. While you may not always have a lot of warning, any preparation you can do ahead of time will help you immensely in an emergency. We’ve come up with an effective flood preparation checklist to get you started.

Is your business operating in a flood-prone region? This flood preparedness checklist will help you get back on your feet after a natural disaster. #HSIServices #floods Click To Tweet

Protect Items Inside the Building

If you have items that can get damaged easily by floodwater, you need to move them to safer points in your office. Move the delicate items to the second floor or at least a very high shelf to protect them from water.

Items you should work hard to keep protected include:

  • Photographs
  • Artwork/decor
  • Furniture
  • File folders
  • Papers

Pro Tip: Keep digital backups of all your business paperwork. If the physical copies are destroyed or lost in a flood, you won’t lose any important data.

Cover Fragile Equipment

Another way to prepare for floods is by covering the critical equipment that flood water can destroy in your commercial property. Cover these items when you get a flood warning:

  • Office computers
  • Field machinery
  • Business equipment
  • Important storage units (eg., filing cabinets)
  • Any furniture that is too big or heavy to move

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Before evacuating to a safer place, you need to prepare your emergency box. Pack everything in a waterproof container that you can easily grab and run at a moment’s notice. Your emergency pack should include:

  • 3 days’ worth of water and non-perishable food per person you’re evacuating with
  • Weather radio (preferably powered by a hand crank)
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Any specialized medical supplies you require

Invest in Anti-Flooding Equipment

Installing a water barrier, such as the Aqua-Barrier, around your property is the best way to prepare for impending floods. Simply position the barrier around your business and fill it with water prior to the flood arriving. Our specialized flood barrier will keep out floodwaters up to 5 feet deep and protect your business from severe water damage.

Protect Your Business

Floods are one of the most devastating natural disasters, making preparation ahead of time essential. Remember to protect delicate items in the building, prepare an emergency box, and invest in an inflatable barrier to keep the water at bay. Although flooding can present numerous challenges to your business, we at Hydrological Solutions are ready to help protect your business from floodwaters.

Connect with us to learn more about flood preparations.

3 Construction Safety Goals to Set for 2019

3 Construction Safety Goals to Set for 2019

2019 has rolled in and what better time to set some new goals for the new year? If you run a construction company, setting a goal for a safer year should be a top priority. Include these 3 safety goals into your construction plan this year to ensure 2019 is safe and injury-free. Click To Tweet

Your Construction Safety Goals

According to OSHA, construction is a dangerous industry. In fact, they found that 5,190 construction workers were killed on the job in 2016. This can be changed by setting construction safety goals for 2019 and making sure that you adopt these three objectives for your company in the new year.

Create a Culture of Safety

One of the top ways to achieve construction safety at your company is to create a culture of safety. Safety trickles down from the top, so leaders need to create a culture of safety as top priority. Everyone from the newest recruit through the CEO needs to have a safety-first mindset.

ProTip: To create a culture of safety, be sure to constantly communicate the importance and need for safety and make sure safety measures are always being implemented and followed.

Ongoing Safety Training

To help enforce a company culture of safety, it is imperative that your construction company offers and requires ongoing safety training. By holding ongoing training classes, safe habits can be reinforced and new safety techniques and procedures can be learned.

Safer Tools for the Job

Workers should always be wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE), such as heavy steel-toed boots, eye protection, gloves, hard hats, or whatever else is needed to keep workers safe from harm. Along with the required use of PPE, having the best tools for the job also helps cut down on injury and makes the worksite safer. For example, if working in an area that requires dewatering, don’t waste time on cumbersome sandbags that can cause back pain, opt for an inflatable cofferdam that can be set up quicker and safer.

Staying Safe in 2019

By making sure you set these above intentions for your construction company this year, and by using the best equipment for the project (and used correctly), you can help reduce workplace risks and make everyone’s job safer. You owe it to your valued employees to do all you can to protect them on the job. By setting a construction safety goal in 2019, you can be sure to create a safe place for them to work.

Contact us to learn more ways you can set construction safety goals for 2019.

How to Decrease the Environmental Impact of Construction

How to Decrease the Environmental Impact of Construction

Construction projects have a significant impact on the world’s environment. In fact, every aspect of construction has some measurable impact–from mining processes used for materials, to the waste produced by the project and how it is disposed of. It is important to understand and take initiative to decrease the environmental impact of construction projects which harm the water, ground, and air we breath.

Limit the Environmental Impact of Construction

Construction contributes to environmental damage both on a global scale, as well as locally. It is important to learn what impact construction causes in order to scale back damage. Here are five ways to help limit environmental impact during your construction project.

1) Limit Fuel Usage

Construction firm’s biggest negative impact on the environment is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, like gas and diesel. Every construction project results in these gas emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other waste products that pollute the air and are believed to contribute to global warming. In order to limit fuel usage:

  • Minimize haul distances
  • Reduce vehicle idling time
  • Use greener, alternative fuel sources
  • Use hybrid equipment

By striving to limit your construction project’s fuel usage, you can help decrease negative emission and pollutants and improve air quality.

2) Reduce Noise

Construction noise is a major source of noise pollution. Most of this noise is produced by machinery in site preparation, demolition, and landscaping. Many construction sites are located near homes and businesses and can noise complaints might be likely. Be sure, when beginning a construction project, to be considerate and adhere to any local construction time restrictions. Many people might not appreciate work and loud construction noises beginning at six A.M. on a Saturday. Another good idea is to send a  letter to neighbors before beginning work to alert them to how long the project will last and what to expect.

3) Properly Dispose of Waste

In 2014, there was over 534 million tons of construction material waste in the United States. Demolition waste makes up 90% of total debris, and much of this waste is disposed of in landfills or through incineration. Both these methods harm the environment. By salvaging, reusing and recycling existing materials, you can cut down on materials harming our precious earth. Hardware, appliances, and fixtures can be recycled or reused. These can be used on future projects or donated to those who need them. Brick and concrete can be recycled and used as fill or driveway bedding, and metals and wood are valuable commodities that can be recycled.

4) Utilize Reusable Technology

There are a lot of green building options that help you decrease a negative environmental impact. For example, inflatable water dams help combat erosion, water runoff, and prevents sedimentation. While sandbags and traditional dewatering solutions are costly and time-consuming, inflatable water dams are reusable and take up little space. They are easier to install and environmentally friendly by using existing water already on your worksite.

5) Expedite Your Project

By accelerating your construction project, you reduce traffic disturbances and also reduce associated emissions and fuel costs. Establish firm completion goals and implement these measures to stay on track. Expediting the construction process helps reduce noise pollution, as well as cutting back on traffic duration and improves safety zones.

Decrease Your Environmental Impact

There are numerous ways to decrease the negative environmental impact on your construction project. By utilizing green and reusable technology, keeping project length to a minimum, limiting fuel use, along with other suggestions listed, you are sure to make a difference in the impact of the environment.

To learn more about how you can decrease the environmental impact of construction projects, Contact Us.

Keeping the Fun in the 4th: A Guide to Safety

Keeping the Fun in the 4th: A Guide to Safety

Everyone loves the festivities and all the food that comes with the 4th of July. It’s a great time to remember and celebrate our freedom, enjoy eating burgers and hot dogs, and watch the sky light up. As you prepare for this year’s celebrations, don’t forget about safety.

Your Guide to Keeping the Fun in the 4th

Due to failure to follow safety guidelines, burns and eye injuries from fireworks are very common around this time of year. FEMA issues a series of public safety announcements from the U.S. Fire Administrator, Dave Paulison each year. They also provide guidelines for safety with fireworks.

1) Keep it legal.

Before you light a single firework, make sure firework displays are legal in your area. Be careful to follow all your local laws regarding fireworks. The laws are there for protection, but they can only protect you if you follow them.

2) Supervise all children.

Most fireworks, even sparklers, burn hot enough to melt some metals. After Independence Day every year, medical workers see many injuries from fireworks, and many of the injured are children. Take extra precaution to monitor all children near your fireworks display. For very small children, consider glow sticks in place of sparklers.

3) Clear area and follow instructions.

Before you light a single firework, make sure the area is clear of people, animals, structures, vehicles, and flammable items. Only light one firework at a time and immediately back away. NEVER attempt to relight a dud. Wait a half hour, then soak in water before discarding it. NEVER relight or pick up any firework that did not fully ignite.

4) Dress appropriately.

Wear light clothing and try to cover as much skin as you can. Avoid loose clothing, especially shirts with loose sleeves. Make sure anyone who is igniting fireworks wears proper eye protection.

5) Be safe and ready.

Have a bucket of water nearby to soak used fireworks in before throwing away. Have several buckets of water and a water hose ready in the case of an emergency. Before you begin, designate several adults to help in the case of an emergency. One should be ready to dial 9-1-1 and the rest should stay nearby to help in case of a fire or an injury.

Safety Precautions for Workers in the Industry

OSHA is also concerned with workers in the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry. It’s the employer’s responsibility to protect all employees from death and serious injury. Make sure your employees remain vigilant to follow all safety guidelines this 4th of July. Refer to OSHA’s guidelines for inspections and other safety concerns for pyrotechnics facilities.  

Have a Safe and Happy 4th

Hydrological Solutions wishes you a Happy and safe 4th of July this year. We hope you enjoy your time with friends and family and all the festivities and food as well. Use this guide to keeping the fun in the 4th to keep it safe.

Hydrological Solutions is your resource for dewatering solutions and flood barriers. Contact Us for more information on innovative tools for dewatering your worksite or protecting your home or business from flooding.

Hurricane Categories and What They Mean

Hurricane Categories and What They Mean

With hurricane season upon us, it is time to start preparing your disaster recovery plans just in case a storm decides to head your way. While every storm has its own risks, not every hurricane requires the same level of planning. You need to adjust your disaster plans around the strength of the storm.

We measure hurricane strength with the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a 1-5 categorization that tracks wind speeds. However, do not be fooled by this. Hurricanes bring more than just wind, and to properly prepare for them you must understand how these other aspects of the storms will affect your business.

Category 1 Hurricane

When the winds reach 74 miles per hour, a rotating storm becomes a hurricane. If the sustained winds stay under 96 miles per hour, the storm gets the Category 1 label. Category 1 storms bring minor damage and flooding risks to property, people, and animals. Most protected glass remains intact in these storms. If you have a good back-up generator, you can even continue doing business the day after the storm passes. Otherwise, you might have to deal with an occasional power outage that could last for several days. Hurricane Dolly from 2008 was a Category 1 hurricane.

Category 2 Moderate Hurricane

At 96 miles per hour, the storm is now category 2, and it will stay that way until it tops 100 mph. The winds are now strong enough to both damage to property and injure people. You should pan for flooding in low-lying areas as well. The power outages can last for a few days or a few weeks. You can expect to have to close your business during that time. Hurricane Frances of 2004 was a Category 2 storm.

Category 3 Major Hurricane

Category 3 hurricanes have winds anywhere before 111 and 130 miles per hour and are considered major storms. These storms present significant risks to both life and property – even sturdy buildings. Roads may get blocked, while electricity and water could be unusable for days if not weeks. Flood waters can extend far inland as well. 2004’s Hurricane Ivan was a Category 3 hurricane.

Category 4 Major Hurricane

Category 4 hurricane winds range from 131 to 155 miles per hour. These storms bring catastrophic damage to both life and property, and will require major planning to keep your business running after the storms hit. These storms can rip off roofs and shatter exterior walls, topple trees, and cause massive flooding that can leave an area uninhabitable for weeks or months. Hurricane Charley from 2004 had Category 4 winds.

Category 5 Major Hurricane

Hurricanes do not get worse than category 5. These monster storms, with winds of 155 mph, are why you have disaster recovery plans in the first place. Expect your office building or factory to not exist after one of these storms hit as they often bring total wall roof failure and collapse. Your area could be render uninhabitable for months as well. Hurricane Katrina from 2005 was a Category 5 storm.

Stay Connected for More Information

According to the 2016 Hurricane Season Predictions, we could see at least three storms of category 3 or higher. Follow our blog for tips and strategies that will keep your business operating and home protected from whatever nature decides to throw our way.