Storms - Protection of Buildings
Are you aware of the impact that high wind storms and heavy rain can cause to your property? When such events are predicted in advance by meteorological officials, we can be prepared and plan ahead.
1. Check your roofs and wall mounted objects
Roofs need appropriate regular inspection, maintenance and repairs and roof or wall mounted objects (air conditioners; solar panels; fans, pumps and motors, etc.) need to be appropriately secured to avoid damage.
- Replace missing, loose or damaged roof tiles
- Ensure roof-mounted structures are in good condition, e.g. chimneys
- Ensure pointing is of appropriate standard
- Contact a roofing specialist to expedite emergency repairs ahead of storms
- Ensure all roof top access hatches or plant room door ways are properly secured
2. Check your External Objects
• Mobile objects should be moved to secure areas or securely fixed to the ground (storage, bins, outdoor furniture and trees/ shrubs and sometimes parked vehicles)
• If glazed elements are not impact resistant, appropriately fixed plywood can be used to protect them
• External services, equipment, etc. should be protected against impact
• The condition and location of trees and shrubs should be considered, and immediate issues of concern addressed, e.g. tree limb fracture or tree collapse
3. Be Aware of Rain
• Precautions should be taken against wind driven rain through air ventilation systems, louvres, under and around sliding glass doors, roof mounted exhausts, roof mounted access hatches or plant rooms, etc.
• Ensure roofs and gutters are cleared and clean
• Ensure drains and manhole covers are in place and secured
• Ensure public highway located storm drains are cleared and clean
• Liaise with neighbours to ensure the same. One blockage can cause a knock-on effect in a drainage network
4. Remember Utilities and Services
Consider the following:
• What could be impacted, e.g. over-ground services?
• How could it be impacted, e.g. wind damage, impact from falling trees, etc.?
• What services need to be operational during the storm, e.g. fire alarm, sprinkler fire protection system, electricity, etc.?
• Can any services be isolated ahead of the storm? This should be verified by formal documented risk assessment and permit to work and managed with a formal lock out/tag out process
• When do services need to be restored?
5. Make Emergency Plans
Make sure your emergency preparedness and emergency response plans are up-to-date for wind and flood. Any emergency response plans should include the following:
• Move susceptible items to higher ground
• Consider skidding items on pallets or multiple pallets
• Make sure openings, windows, doors are protected and sealed at all levels of the building.
If the risk is appropriate, consider having sand bags or more engineered items available on site and a plan in place of when to deploy.
• Ensure any temporary or emergency water pumps and generators are protected from water ingress, have appropriate fuel or protected energy supply, and are available to operate
• Consider denial of access to the site due to the weather conditions
• Consider the impact to employees, site management and the emergency response team by these events
• Consider the impact to your services
Emergency response plans should be regularly tested and updated.