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South Florida Severe Weather Advisory

Hurricane Matthew’s shift west imposes additional requirements on property owners and contractors operating construction sites in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Under this severe weather advisory, the requirements are as follows:

  1. In Miami-Dade County: Loose objects (i.e., gardening supplies, display racks, toys, chairs, industrial supplies/materials) located outside of any residential, commercial, or industrial property should be stored in a building or structure or by bracing, bundling, or fastening the loose object to a fixed structure to prevent the object from becoming windborne.
  2. In Broward County: the Building Official will issue orders mandating that loose objects must be lashed to a rigid construction or stored in a building to prevent objects from becoming windborne.

Counties are advised to follow official reports and directions regarding weather warnings and safety. Property owners and contractors that fail to secure loose objects and materials as directed, will be subject to fines and liabilities for damage and injuries caused by unsecured loose objects.

Hurricanes are an unfortunate reality of construction in Florida, but a plan can lessen the damage and keep everyone safe. For more advice on preparing your construction site for a hurricane, contact the construction attorneys at Trent Cotney P.A. at 813.579.3278.

Any person engaging in contracting services in the State of Florida must be currently registered, certified, or possess a certificate of authority through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). A violation of this requirement is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

The licensing rules still apply during a state of emergency; however, the penalty for performing unlicensed contracting services during one is more severe. Under Florida Statute 489.127, anyone providing unlicensed contracting services during a state of emergency commits a felony of the third degree.

We advise contractors to abstain from contracting if you do not have a license or if your license is not current with the DBPR.

For more advice on preparing for a Hurricane Matthew, contact us today at 813.579.3278.

Be Ready – Have a Construction Hurricane Disaster Preparedness Plan

Many Florida residents are preparing for the potentially devastating impact that Hurricane Irma may have on our state. It’s critical for all of us to prepare our families, homes and other items for the damage the storm may cause. As construction professionals, we also know that preparing active job sites for Hurricane Irma is equally critical to the safety of all in the vicinity of it.

The best time to prepare a construction site for a hurricane is long before the storm is imminent. However, a plan in place at any point of the year can protect your investment and, more importantly, save lives. Here are a few tips to consider when putting together a construction hurricane disaster plan:

  1. Purchase Supplies Needed for Prepping Your Site For a Hurricane: This list may include sandbags, fuel, water, plywood, shoring and bracing to support unfinished structures, water, and pumps.
  2. Secure and Remove All Loose Items on the Construction Site: A storm is classified as a hurricane when its winds reach 74 miles per hour. Hurricane Irma’s winds have been clocked as high as 185 miles per hour. When a storm is approaching, do a sweep of the construction site and remove all loose debris. Remove objects like, scaffold planks, port-a-potties, and dumpsters that can go airborne during high winds. Also, lay down the boom and secure cranes. Construction trailers should be removed as well.
  3. Create a Plan for Water Removal: Being able to remove accumulated water from the construction site is vital for maintaining the stability of the structure as well as neighboring buildings. Put pumps in places where water can accumulate prior to the storm so that you can begin removing water immediately after the storm.
  4. Secure All Important Documents: Prior to the hurricane, move all construction plans and other important documents to a safe location.

Contact the construction attorneys at Trent Cotney P.A. at 813.579.3278.