We are currently at the peak of the 2019 hurricane season, and if the record-setting Dorian is any indication of what’s to come, contractors should be prepared for an influx of repair requests. The powerful winds and torrential rainfall that accompany hurricanes can lead to extensive roof damage. Category 5 hurricanes like Dorian can easily rip away loose shingles and sheathing, and in some cases, entire roofs that haven’t been reinforced to withstand hurricane force winds (74 mph or greater).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides opportunities for contractors to help communities recover from hurricanes with the use of blue roof contracts, a type of contract in which contractors install blue tarps on roofs that have been extensively damaged. Blue roof contracts are lucrative opportunities for contractors to help those in need, but they can’t be procured unless you plan in advance. At Cotney Construction Law, our Charlotte construction litigation lawyers work with contractors to ensure that they have all the tools they need to maintain legal compliance and grow their businesses. Do you have your blue roof contracts ready for this hurricane season? Here are five reasons why you should.
Reason #1: Competition Is Fierce
Under the Thomas T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, FEMA is required to provide contract opportunities to businesses located in the area as long as it is deemed practical. This means all of your local competitors will be flocking to procure blue roof contracts after a hurricane strikes. If your contracts are ready to go, you can circumvent some of the chaos inherent to this process.
Reason #2: The Government Relies on Existing Contracts
Since state and local government agencies handle the majority of disaster response activities, contracting opportunities are often dealt with through these offices. Disaster relief is extremely time-sensitive. In the event of a catastrophic hurricane, government agencies may first seek the help of existing contracts. When it comes to blue roof contracting, the early bird always gets the worm.
Reason #3: Licensing Precedes Blue Roof Contracting
If you are interested in procuring blue roof contracts, you must first obtain the proper licensing. Registration in the required federal, state, and/or local databases is a prerequisite to blue roof contracting eligibility. Meeting with a Charlotte contractor lawyer ahead of hurricane season can help you ensure that you have met all licensing requirements for blue roof contracting.
Reason #4: You Never Know When the Next Hurricane Is Coming
Hurricanes can appear out of nowhere, and their unpredictable nature makes planning ahead difficult. Plus, putting together a list of dependable subcontractors and suppliers can be tedious following a hurricane, especially when you consider the implications of fast-tracking contracts. These are two of the primary reasons why contractors should consult a Charlotte construction litigation attorney before attempting to engage in any form of public assistance contracting.
Reason #5: Legal Compliance Is Essential
One company contracted by FEMA to provide blue tarps to Puerto Ricans in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017 is now under investigation for fraud. They falsified records to hide the fact that their tarps were sourced from China, a violation of a federal sourcing laws. This underscores the importance of approaching blue roof contracting with the help of a construction lawyer. Legal compliance is essential; otherwise, you could end up under investigation like the contractors we just mentioned.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.