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Putting The Pieces Back Together – Reconstruction After Disaster

BMS CAT

Summary

At Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT, we respond to all types of disasters: fire, water, microbial and storm. Sometimes the damage is contained to the contents of a facility and a few structural pieces. Often, however, the significant structural damage has occurred as a result of the damage. Once the “restoration” phase of the project is completed, the facility may still not be back to normal. This is when reconstruction comes into play. According to Wikipedia, the term “reconstruction” means “returning a damaged building to a known earlier state by the introduction of new materials.”

Why Does It Matter?

Once building materials have been introduced to foreign matter, such as water, soot or other debris, it will begin to deteriorate and may continue to deteriorate if appropriate action is not taken. The restoration phase of the clean-up may require removal of certain portions of the structure such as drywall, windows, flooring and other damaged materials. Once those materials have been removed, in a process called “controlled demolition,” a facility is left without many key components. Can you imagine going to a hotel without any walls? Or a hospital without any windows?

Considerations

Business interruption is a major consideration after a facility has been damaged. For most organizations, if their facility is inoperable, revenue and production are lost. When a project is large enough to include reconstruction, time is of the essence. It is important to note that reconstruction and construction are two very different things.

Construction versus Reconstruction

With all these considerations in place, how should one approach a reconstruction project? The project may differ and several things will affect a reconstruction project. Following an area-wide disaster, considerations include: infrastructure failure, delayed permitting, access to the facility, resource availability and other limiting factors, such as curfews. When we perform a restoration project that includes reconstruction, the project typically goes as follows:

restoration project

It is important that the customer is part of each step. At Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT, we prefer that the customer representative meet with the project manager on a regular basis, often daily.

Health & Safety

Health and safety evaluations should be performed for each loss. In general, individuals who may come in contact with water damaged materials should have current tetanus shots and protect hands, eyes, and mouth using personal protective equipment. When reconstruction is occurring, additional health and safety plans may be necessary to protect occupants of the facility.

What Can You Do?

It is important to have a plan in place for a disaster. It is highly recommended that you pre-contract with a restoration company before a loss occurs. This gets any administrative “red tape” out of the way, expedites response times and allows you to carefully pre-qualify the service for your exact needs. We offer a Response Service Agreement at no cost.