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MODEL PROGRAM FOR CONSTRUCTION CRISIS AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE INT BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
O 2007 Deepak Sharma
To my parents
For their constant encouragement and support throughout my life.
I would like to thank those who have helped me in the completion of the thesis. I would
like to thank Dr. Hinze for his constant support and direction in the process of completing the
proj ect. Dr. Grosskopf and Dr. Wetherington need special mention for their care and vision with
the project. My inspiration to study comes from my parents, S.L. Sharma and Urmil Sharma who
encouraged me to study "Building Construction". I am thankful to them. I am also thankful to
my brother Dr. S.K. Sharma and bhabhi Dr. Suman Sharma for believing in me and constantly
encouraging me in my pursuits. All my friends and teachers need special thanks as they
encouraged me to set high goals and strive to achieve them. I am also thankful to all in the
faculty including Dr. Issa and Dr. Chini for their guidance and care.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....
LIST OF TABLES ............ ...... .__. ...............7....
LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............8.....
AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........9
1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............11.......... ......
2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ...............14................
Overview ................. ...............14.................
T erm s ................. ..... .. .. ....... ... .. ... ..........2
Construction Companies and Community Relationship during Crisis/Disaster Events........24
3 METHODOLOGY .............. ...............27....
4 RE SULT S .............. ...............33....
Description of Construction Crisis/Disaster Management (CCDM) Model ..........................35
Step 1: Potential Crisis/Disaster Identification............... .............3
Step 2: Risk Assessment................ ..............3
Step 3: Develop and Implement Plan. ............. ...............38.....
Step 4: Drills & Evaluation of Drills: .......... ...40...... .......... ..
Advanced Notice of the Crisis/Disaster ................. ........ .... .......... ...........4
Step 5: Recognizing Signs of Possible Crisis/Disaster (Monitoring) ................... ...........43
Step 6: Activate the Preparation and Mitigation Plan .............. ...............43....
Step 6a: Preparation .............. ...............43....
Step 6b: Risk communication .............. ...............45....
Step 6c: M litigation ............ ..... .._ ...............46..
Step 7: Response............... ...............47
Step 8: Recovery............... ... .. ...........4
Step 9: Post Response Assessment ............ .....___ ...............49.
Step 10: Share Lessons Learned ............_ ..... ..__ ...............49.
Step 11: Credit the Efforts ............ ..... .._ ...............49.
Step 12: Evaluate Need for Change............... ...............50.
Step 13: Modify the Plan............... ...............50..
Discussion ............ ..... .._ ...............51...
Case of Hurricane ............ ..... .._ ...............51...
Case of Earthquake ............ ..... .._ ...............59...
Case of On-site Fall .............. ...............62....
5 CONCLUSIONS .............. ...............67....
6 RECOMMENDATIONS ................. ...............68.................
LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............69................
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............71....
LIST OF TABLES
2-1 Top 10 Natural disaster by number of deaths: 2005 ............ ...... .__. ......._._. ....1
2-2 Number of people killed by type of crisis/disaster and level of development 1991-
4-1 Category of Hurricanes ........._.___..... .___ ...............52....
LIST OF FIGURES
2-1 Number of natural disasters by country: 1976-2005 ......____ ........._ ................15
2-2 Time trend of natural disasters, 1975-2005 .........___....... .... _. .............17
2-3 Number of people reported killed by type of crisis/disaster and level of country
development 1991-2005 ........ ................. ...............18 ....
2-4 Oblique aerial view northeast and upstream of Teton Dam site as it looks today .............26
4-1 Model for construction crisis/disaster management (CCDM) ................ ............... .....34
4-2 Risk Analysis of the construction crisis/disaster at various levels ................. ...............37
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction
MODEL PROGRAM FOR CONSTRUCTION CRISIS AND DISASTER
Chair: Jimmie Hinze
Cochair: Kevin Grosskopf
Major: Building Construction
Today, the United States and many parts of the world are at significant risk of natural and
man-made disasters. Hazards are naturally occurring or man-made phenomenon that may result
in disaster when occurring in a populated, commercial or industrial area. Although there is no
system in either the private or public sector for consistently compiling comprehensive disaster
costs, conservative estimates indicate a cost of at least $20 billion annually in loss of life and
property, disruption of commerce and recovery. The rationale of this study is to provide an
overview of the hazard risks facing or potentially facing construction projects and to review the
current efforts to improve the disaster resiliency, as well as present a model that can serve as a
guide for addressing disaster that might impact a construction proj ect.
Extreme weather events, hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, drought, wildfires, earthquakes,
volcanoes, landslides and disease epidemics are some natural challenges at the macro level that
can adversely impact a construction proj ect. Disasters including critical infrastructure threats, oil
and chemical spills, building fires, falls, and cave-ins are examples of man-made disasters that
may need to be addressed. The work of OSHA is inadequate to address many of the problems
that might occur. Although, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working
for the cause in reducing the adverse impact of disasters at the national level, much needs to be
done for the emergency control and disaster mitigation on construction proj ects. Emergency
management is the process by which all individuals, groups, and communities manage hazards in
an effort to avoid or ameliorate the damage resulting from crisis/disaster events. Actions taken
depend in part on the perceptions of risk of those exposed.
The research carefully analyzed the crisis/disaster identification, risk assessment, risk
communication, mitigation, prediction and preparedness for the construction industry in the
times of natural and man-made crises/disasters. The model generated could be helpful in the
preventative and reactive measures exercised when disasters are a possibility or after they have
occurred. Thus, the research would enhance the decision making capabilities of construction
managers during the sensitive crisis/disaster phases.
The US economy is adversely affected each year by weather and climate events. Between
1980 and 2002, the U.S. endured 54 weather-related crises/disasters in which overall damages
and costs reached or exceeded $1 billion per event. Of these crises/disasters, 45 occurred during
the 1988-2002 period with total damages and related costs of nearly $200 billion.
Hazards are naturally occurring or human-made phenomenon that may result in
crisis/disaster, especially when occurring in populated, commercial or industrial areas. Although
there is no established system or mechanism for compiling comprehensive crisis/disaster costs,
conservative estimates indicate that $20 billion is lost annually in terms of loss of life and
damaged property, disruption of commerce, and costs of recovery.
Extreme weather events, hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, drought, wildfires, earthquakes,
volcanoes, landslides and disease epidemics are examples of some large-scale challenges that
may be envisioned. Man-made crises/disasters including critical infrastructure threats, oil and
chemical spills, building fires, falls, and cave-ins are examples of a few activities that may also
result in costly losses. The work of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
is inadequate to properly address many of the problems that may occur. Although the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was established to address crises/disasters at the
national level, more needs to be done for emergency control and crisis/disaster mitigation.
Emergency management is the process by which all individuals, groups, companies and
communities manage hazards in an effort to avoid or ameliorate the impact of crises/disasters.
Actions taken depend in part on perceptions of the risks of those exposed.
Managers of construction recognize that many types of natural and man-made
crises/disasters can be experienced on construction proj ects. The ultimate impact of
crisis/disaster on a construction proj ect can be severe. These impacts may be reduced or
minimized if an effective program is implemented. Such a program will include steps taken to
prepare for crises/disasters, as well as efforts to efficiently and systematically recover from them.
Aim and objectives. One of the characteristics of crises/disasters is that their occurrence
is uncertain or irregular, and this requires special attention from the impacted individuals,
companies and communities due to their potential vastness of the resultant damage.
Crises/disasters that may need to be addressed include the following:
* Extreme weather events, including hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and drought
* Earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides
* Disease epidemics
* Man-made crises/disasters, including critical infrastructure threats, oil and chemical spills,
and building fires
* Heavy machinery accidents
* Small tools emergencies
* Cave-in events
* Plant or animal related incidents
* Terrorists' attacks on construction sites
* Job site violence
Crisis/disaster planning, emergency preparedness, or business continuity (different terms
for the related theme) have goals that are ultimately the same: to get an organization back up and
running in the event of an interruption resulting from a crisis/disaster. The problem causing the
interruption could be one machine that was mishandled or an entire network crashing. It could
also be an electrical outage or damage resulting from terrorist activity. The goal is to have some
type of plan in the event of a problem. A crisis/disaster management plan will outline the basic
procedures to be followed to minimize the adverse impact of the crisis/disaster.
The study will provide an overview of several risks facing construction proj ects, review
the efforts that may be taken to address these risks, as well as generate a new model to address
crises/disasters of various types that might impact a construction proj ect.
Merriam Webster defines disaster as "a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage,
loss, or destruction." The definition for the closely related word "crisis" refers to "the unstable or
crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially one with the
di stinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome" (Merriam-Web ster). It is for these two
events; "crisis and disaster" that the research sciences are trying to create models of defense and
recovery which can lead to a better outcome. Crisis could be the origin of disaster, and disaster
could be the beginning of another crisis.
Disaster is perceived as "a state of extreme ruin and misfortune," and it is worthy of being
addressed critically. Disaster can also be viewed as "any incident that can focus negative
attention" in a company and have an adverse effect on its overall financial condition, its
relationships with its clients, or its reputation in the marketplace (Reid 2000).
It was not until the 1930s that the U.S. government became actively involved in
crisis/disaster response and then did some informal work by providing funding to repair
highways and bridges damaged by natural crises/disasters or building flood-control proj ects.
Nuclear war and nuclear fallout were the greatest risks in the 1950s and most emergency
management efforts were focused on civil defense programs at all federal levels. During the
1960s and 70s, a number of large natural crises/disasters beset the country, conspicuously the
Ash Wednesday storm along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States (1962), the Alaskan
earthquake (1964), Hurricane Camille (1969), the San Fernando Valley earthquake (1971) and
Christmas tsunami (2004). The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters analyzed
graphically the geographical distribution of natural crises/disasters at the world level from 1976
to 2005 (Figure 2-1). More than 120 natural crises/disasters were noted in such countries as
Russia, China, India, Iran, Australia and the Unites States.
Number of natural disasters by country: 1976-2005
Figue 21 Nmbe of atual isatersby ounry:197-200 (Surc: Ntura Diastrs aps
EM-DAT~~~~~~~ Emrec iatesDt ae
manaemen fucton ateac the fedra level.og f isst
Pigrepaens is thmer ofonaunaldiastion b of em rgny: management and hcelp Ntoa rducser
vulerabilty to threas. The establishments of warning systanemws evcuationue plns pre-impactdo
prepnardneo bsiswe special-needs andsmlrresonses n soul nt be a ermere"lgnt trncsaffi eanalynsis
but carefully wrkedpnib out practice pla rnns.Th mtosty vuleral popul/iastion rshoulde takn in79to
cosiepratin wens mais ong patins Atouegh t sdifcul t praedict tndhelt numer of
crises/disasters in the coming years, the time trend of natural crises/disasters from 1975-2005
shows an increase in the number of crises/disasters for the past years. Many of these
crises/disasters occurred in high population countries such as the People's Republic of China and
India. A significant number of crises/disasters also hit the United States (Table 2-1). As shown in
Figure 2-2, the number of crises/disasters appears to be increasing.
Table 2-1 Top 10 Natural disaster by number of deaths: 2005 (Source: EM-DAT: The
Nalitura disa sters by~ nrumber of dleaths 200~5
Eathqludae, October Palastan
Humricane Stan, Olctober Guatem~ala
Huilrcane Kidnra, PAugust United States
Earthquake, October ndia
Iran, Islamn Rep
Victims (killed ani~d affected) of
naturlalds~asterQs per 100,1000
Countries mo~st hit biy
reaitual~ disasters 2005
China P ep
Viietnam, ~ndonsia, Raanila
Iran (lelam Relp).. Rusma
Time ~trend of natural
1975 1980 19;85 1~990 1~995 2000 2005
Figure 2-2: Time trend of natural disasters, 1975-2005 (Source: EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED)
The number of people killed from 1991-2005 was examined by different categories of
development level of the countries which is shown in Table 2.2 and Figure 2.3. Figure 2.3
proj ects the percentage of loss caused by maj or natural crises/disasters in different areas of world
categorized under different levels of development.
Table 2-2: Number of people killed by type of crisis/disaster and level of development 1991-
2005 (Source: ISDR. Disaster Statistics)
Robad W1ind strmOn Daghr Slide EMIg8tae & sunaini Vonlcae e~rupio Epidemic~ Tob|l
OECD 2150 5430 47516 424 5910 44 42 61981
CEE+C;B 2835 512 31006 1176B 2412 8 588 10412
Devalownrr corltnes 97051 3525 "12599~ 938 397303 ~ 9 i 4716 830106
Leasi developeBd counTries 20127 149517 3320 1739 927 01 70585B 25473~9
Contie not cl e 9?) 787 57 I'3 2217 11 104 3327
Total 122072 221484 85601 12733 417149 1145 119318 950502
; Drgughi l whivj I;a~r~ iitersalog inllvl.4 guiremn rsmpderssrg
Drought & related
Drought & related
Earthquake & tsunami
Least developed countries
1%$ Drought; & related disasters
Ehau~qake & tsunami
FIoad Wind sto~rm
15% 10% ~
Dro~ught &: elated dlisasters
ICocuntrie~s not classified
D~ogr2 h & rlated disasters
Figure 2-3: Number of people reported killed by type of crisis/disaster and level of country
development 1991-2005 (Source: ISDR. Disaster Statistics)
To plan for crisis/disaster, it is important to identify the various risks and to understand
their inter-relationships. Losses from crises/disasters can take many forms on a construction
proj ect, including financial losses, physical destruction, and delays in the schedule (Cooper and
Chapman 1987). When addressing crises/disasters, it is important to anticipate failure modes and
to then take steps to prevent those failure modes from developing catastrophic events (Petroski
1994). Catastrophic events are associated with high risk occurrences, but low risk occurrences
with lesser impacts are also a concern. Low risk events tend to be handled by "redundancy" and
"duplication" (Sagan 1993).
The US aircraft carrier operations are high risk in nature, especially during war time. These
high risk operations involve computers, antennas and personnel. Because of the complexity,
redundancy with additional assigned personnel and an overlap of responsibilities is standard
procedure. In 2006, Michael Tarrant stated the following about risk:
A key theme which is often raised is that there should be increased community
participation and responsibility in managing risk. If there is an expectation of significant
changes in behavior by individuals then risk assessment and/or risk management will have
to move beyond the idea that risk is something that is independent of minds and cultures,
waiting to be measured. Unless an approach is developed that moves beyond technical
assessments, people are doomed to be met with either apathy or occasional aggression by
the public when attempting to engage them in managing risk. The idea that risk can be
obj ectively quantified is often expressed in equations such as risk = consequence x
Risk management consists of assessing, minimizing, and preventing accidental loss to a
business, as through the use of insurance, safety measures, etc. Risk assessment on every proj ect
is a valuable exercise for any proj ect management team to address. This may eventually be
addressed in the general company policies on site management. Companies should focus on the
kinds of plans required to address the needs created by crisis/disaster. Some have tried to
increase the probability of successfully managing risk by teaming up with others. OSHA has
worked with the National Response Team of the Environmental Protection Agency. Also, the
Department of Transportation has made efforts to develop plans for addressing crises/disasters,
but there is a lack of critical reviews being conducted. Salmon (2005) described risk analysis at
the world level, where terrorists' attacks were identified as the result of gap in the global
architecture of governmental, non-governmental and quasi-governmental organizations
Hazard analysis involves identifying and assessing the characteristics of hazards in
communities and the environment. If the trend to manage risk through greater participation and
the acceptance of individual responsibilities is to be successful, then many issues will have to be
addressed. Public education and awareness is of limited value until there is a greater appreciation
of the way people think about risk and their decision-making processes. A key theme, which is
often raised, is that there should be increased community participation and responsibility in
managing risk (Tarrant 2006). Alexander (2006) described the globalization of crises/disasters
with the vulnerability as the conditions determined by physical, social, economic, and
The National Response Plan establishes a comprehensive all-hazards approach to enhance
the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents. The plan incorporates best
practices and procedures from incident management disciplines (Federal Emergency
Management Agency or FEMA, National Disaster Medical System or NDMS, Urban Search and
Rescue or USAR, Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team or DMORT, Disaster Medical
Assistance Team or DMAT etc.), and integrates them with the entities:
* Homeland security
* Emergency management
* Law enforcement
* Public works
* Public health
* Responder and recovery worker health and safety
* Emergency medical services
* Private sector
Smith (2006) refers to the use of special code systems in the alert mechanisms for hospital
emergencies. The examples of the codes include the following:
* Code blue: Medical emergency
* Code red: Fire
* Code white: Pediatric medical emergency
* Code amber: Infant or child abduction
* Code yellow: Bomb threat
* Code gray: Security emergency/ patient elopement
* Code silver: Hostage situation
* Code orange: Hazardous material
* Code triage: External disasters situation
* Code clear or green: Situation is resolved
It has been suggested that a similar code designation needs to be developed for the
construction industry. Much effort is needed to integrate practices and procedures into a unified
structure. Big companies have more resources than the small firms. Big companies can have
multiple construction sites that can be utilized to provide resources to a construction site that was
struck by crisis/disaster. Small businesses have a few options so they need to be more creative
when drafting their emergency plans (Barrel 2007). Because of the limited resources of the small
firms, federal departments and agencies will work together with them to coordinate with state,
local, and tribal governments and the private sector during crisis/disaster incidents. Established
protocols are necessary to help protect the nation from terrorist attacks and other natural and
man-made hazards; save lives; protect public health, safety, property, and the environment; and
reduce adverse psychological consequences and disruptions to the American way of life.
Roger Kemp (2007) presents a nine point formula to assess the vulnerability of buildings to
2. Criticality to Jurisdiction
3. Site Impact outside the Jurisdiction
4. Public Accessibility
5. Possible on-site hazards
6. Building Height
7. Building Construction sturdiness
8. Site population capacity
9. Potential for Collateral mass casualties
Kemp states that the office, storage and manufacturing plants are not the targets of the terrorist' s
attacks, but the governmental buildings, transportation centers, nuclear plants, and factories that
produce war materials. It is almost unpredictable to know the minds of terrorists but Kemp
encourages more preparation in the above mentioned facilities. The scale of the construction
proj ect is the most important factor which Kemp forgets to mention. All the weaknesses in the
security systems are the causal factors in the crises/disasters by terrorism.
In 2000, Gunes and Kovel, described the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
in dealing with the hazards for Douglas County in the state of Kansas. The GIS-based decision
support system was developed to safeguard against the flood zones in Douglas County. The
flood zones were made to be identified and analyzed accurately using GIS technology.
Orthophoto, hydrography, and digital elevation models were used to obtain a total understanding
of the area under study. The study encouraged the use of graphical image systems as even a non-
technical observer could analyze the area under consideration. In addition, other supportive
methods of understanding the geology and soil zones using graphical systems can be helpful for
addressing crises/disasters in the construction industry. Employing special emergency
consultants is described by Brown (2002), as one of the solutions where consultants can provide
the construction companies with written emergency plans and can visit the facility maintaining
its safe completion.
Leonard and Howitt (2006) wrote about Hurricane Katrina as the most devastating storm.
They made comparisons with Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the Missouri River floods of 1993.
The damage caused by Katrina occurred over nearly 100,000 square miles of area, roughly the
land mass of the United Kingdom. The aftermath had the people stunned, as instantaneous
response was difficult to analyze and put into action. The lesson learned was that the United
States was not prepared for such a big crisis/disaster. Many construction sites were ill-prepared
to address such a massive attack by nature.
In 2006, the Oklahoma Sciences Research Center prepared a six-step model to improve the
capacity of public health agencies to respond to any hazardous event. The proposed model
integrated aspects of two existing approaches with concepts from the field of emergency
management, and emphasized the importance of timely evaluation. The evaluation of this
paradigm included both individual workers and larger work groups. It addressed both general
goals and the agency's local plan. This model also stressed the need to work with all levels of the
agency to develop the local plan. The evaluation was accomplished using self-assessment,
measures of obj ective knowledge, ratings of individual performance, and ratings of team
performance. Though based on a pilot study, that model may have applications for other agencies
working to increase their capacity to respond to hazardous events.
The research by International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (2005), focused on different
environments of construction, so the understanding of a few terms could be helpful in creating
solutions for the emergency events. The terms are as follows:
All-hazards approach: an integrated hazard management strategy that incorporates planning for
and consideration of all potential natural and man-made hazard threats, including terrorism.
Disaster risk: the chance of a hazard event occurring and resulting in disaster
Hazard event: the specific occurrence of a hazard
Hazard risk: the chance of a hazard event occurring
Natural disaster: a disaster that results from a natural hazard event
Natural hazard: a hazard that originates in natural phenomena (hurricane, earthquake, tornado,
Man-made hazard: a hazard that originates in accidental or intentional human activity (oil spill,
chemical spill, building fires, terrorism, etc.)
Emergency planning: procedures and steps taken immediately after an interruption
to construction activity
Disaster recovery: steps taken to restore some functions so that some level of
services can be offered
Business continuity: restoration planning, completing the full circle to get the organization
back to where it was before an interruption
There are no generalized templates, as one framework for crisis/disaster planning and
recovery cannot fit all. There are some common elements among plans, but every charted plan
will be unique because every organization's structure and circumstances are unique. It is the
obj ective of this research to develop a generalized crisis/disaster management plan that could
address a wide range of crises/disasters.
Construction Companies and Community Relationship during Crisis/Disaster Events
Americans in today's world are more vulnerable to hurricanes than in the past. The
hurricane-prone coastline of the United States now houses nearly 50 million people. Hurricane
Katrina devastated a major city in 2005. The commitment to reach the community in
crisis/disaster event could have been best served if had a plan of action for them too.
Unfortunately, there was no orchestrated plan; certainly none that could that could address a
crisis/disaster of the scale of Hurricane Katrina.
Natural crises/disasters of the scale of Hurricane Katrina need crisis/disaster planning at
the community level. Local construction firms can also play a significant role in the recovery
phase. The community services that can be provided to the neighborhood after natural
crises/disaster includes such activities as cutting down fallen trees; hauling off the debris; and
providing transportation; supplying water and providing other needed services. The construction
company could make a decision to defer actions on its own proj ect site, while the community
needs are addressed. A company could take complete control of the situation or work closely
with the governmental agencies in addressing the issue. The National Guard could be served by
contacting them directly. Assisting the community can help the company's own workers feel
pride in the values of the organization' s policies and humanitarian work.
Community services and the company's own construction proj ect require attention and a
decision is needed on how to best allocate the resources. This decision will be based on the
nature of the damage inflicted by the crisis/disaster. Three different scenarios are possible at the
time of crises/disasters, which are as follows:
* Crisis/disaster at construction site and community unaffected
* Crisis/disaster at construction site and community also affected
* Construction site unaffected, but community suffers from crisis/disaster
The organization could think of supporting the community with transportation vehicles or some
other equipment to help the neighborhood address its immediate needs.
There are often special needs of the community or neighborhood in times of crisis/disaster.
If only the construction site has sustained damage, all efforts will be focused on the construction
site. If, both the construction site and the community are affected, allocating resources between
the construction site and the community will be the key decisions to be made in the early stages.
Providing assistance to the community in the hours of crisis may be a moral obligation assumed
by the company. In the case where only the community is impacted, the immediate need will be
to implement actions for the benefit of the community.
History is replete with examples where parties in neighboring area came out and helped
those in the community in a time of need. For instance, after the Teton Dam collapse on June 5,
1976 (Figure 2-4) the construction companies in the region provided help to the community.
Bulldozers and crews were immediately deployed to "plug the leak." Some workers put
themselves at risk to help the community. The construction companies extended their
commitment beyond financial support. Donations of diverse supplies, equipment, services and
expertise to enhance the on-ground relief activities saved lives and resources.
Figure 2-4: Oblique aerial view northeast and upstream of Teton Dam site as it looks today
(Source: U. S. Bureau of Reclamation)
The overall obj ective of this research was to develop a model that could be used to address
the effective management of any crisis or disaster that might impact a construction project. With
the model, a construction manager could devise an appropriate management plan to address an
impending or potential crisis/disaster. As such, the model could provide the underlying
foundation to develop a management plan to address any crisis or disaster. The challenges for
developing the model on crisis and disaster management were associated primarily with the
varying types of calamities and their consequences. For example, the model was to address
minor crisis situations (power failure) and maj or disasters (hurricanes).
The methodology followed in this research was guided by the obj ectives of the study,
which were to develop a standardized approach for disaster mitigation and crisis management in
The steps taken to obtain sufficient information on crisis/disaster management were as
* A literature search was conducted on relevant material describing emergency management,
disaster mitigation and any crisis event that might impact a construction proj ect
* The impacts of crises/disasters and events were studied on a global basis
* The private and public institutional efforts of crisis/disaster management were collected
* Media coverage on crisis/disaster cases was studied
* Construction industry approaches to address crisis/disaster situations were examined in
journals, magazines, the Internet and newspapers
* The data on relevant case studies were collected and evaluated
The research was aimed at creating a model or a collection of models for crisis/disaster
management on construction proj ects. The use of generally accepted terms rather than
technological terminology was considered essential for ease of use. In the process of developing
a solution for this complex issue, the initial development steps were divided into three different
* Higher magnitude disasters
* Lower category disasters
* Localized disasters
The management of a crisis/disaster is highly dependent on the nature of the event.
Varying levels of preparation will be required for different events. The impact of a crisis/disaster
on the community and a construction site can be enormous. The model to be generated was to
sequentially address all the parameters associated with the preparation for a crisis/disaster and
the recovery period. The higher magnitude disasters were the most important of the listed
crises/disasters as they could result in greater consequences. Higher magnitude "man-made
disasters" are not common and are generally associated, in recent times, with acts of terrorism.
The man-made crisis/disaster events were considered to be rare so that this research did not
consider them. The higher magnitude types of crisis/ disasters include the following:
* Extreme snow/ ice conditions
* Extended freeze
* Hurricane/tropical storm
* Lightning, especially associated with subsequent fire
* Surface faulting
* Ground failure
* Disease epidemic
Lower order disasters can also adversely impact construction proj ects. Even though the
elements of disaster may be small, their consequences could be disastrous, especially if a chain
reaction is initiated. For example, a small fire caused by a lightening strike could result in an
explosion and widespread damage. Also, in the structure of a building, the whole system could
fail due to progressive collapse. Thus, one small event could result in a maj or disaster. The
research identified several lower category crises/disasters including the following:
* Environmental accidents
* Groundwater contamination
* Long term exposure of a community to toxic chemicals
* Release of toxic chemicals into the air or water channels
* Disease epidemic (Terrorist Act as anthrax threat)
Localized crises/disasters are seen as a potential threat to the safe completion of
construction proj ects. Even if the area of influence is not a whole city or town, it can still impact
greatly on the company performing the operations. Human error is recognized as one of the most
crucial causes behind localized disasters. For instance, maj or sources of hazardous material
accidents are spills along roadways, railways, pipelines, rivers, and port areas. Hazardous
materials are substances, which are harmful to the health and safety of people and to property.
Subcategories of localized crises/disasters include the following:
* Injury/ fatality of an employee
* Exposure to hazardous/radioactive material/oil
* Chronic safety problems
* Accident on the j ob site
* Violent acts
* Damage to utility lines
* Equipment failure
* Theft/ embezzlement
* Damage to utility lines
* Violent strikes
* Power failure
* Suspicious material
There are also a number of cases, which are out of the scope of this study. The following
categories were not considered in the model development.
* Operational misconduct/ management/ administration
* Discontented employees
* Contractual disputes with a client
* Mergers/acqui siti ons
* Negative publicity relating to politics
* Labor issues and appeals
* Sudden market uplift
* Human rights violations
* Reorganization/ downsizing
* Sudden governmental changes in policies
* Serious cash flow problems
* Rapid growth
* Lack of bonding capability
* Computer viruses
Institutions in different industries have their own working models of preparedness and
response for crisis/disaster. For example, the health-care industry has response models to address
multiple emergency room admissions resulting from a single catastrophic event. Response
models were also noted in the area of sports where sports teams employ physicians to attend to
unexpected serious injuries of players. Similarly, response models of police departments, fire
departments, and national emergency services with other parallel organizations (Red Cross,
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Group) were examined in preparation for
developing a crisis/disaster management model. These have served as inspirational models in the
development of the construction crisis/disaster management model.
The research had a prime focus on developing a model that would help in "preventing" as
much damage from crisis/disaster events as possible by generating a working model on which
effective crisis/disaster management plans could be developed and implemented. Although the
model is not designed to prevent the occurrence of a crisis/disaster, it is designed to dramatically
reduce the adverse impacts of such events. The action plans for different types of crisis/disaster
events were evaluated. For example, consideration was given to the appropriate responses to
address maj or events as hurricanes and less serious events as power failures. By examining
various maj or and minor events, a wide range of mitigation response actions were identified.
After that, the responses to several different types of crisis/disaster events were analyzed and
common elements were identified between the different approaches. Through this exercise, it
was decided that a single model would be developed, i.e. most of the response elements were
similar for very different crisis/disaster events. As the model was developed, it was tested to
determine if it adequately addressed the needs of crisis/disaster management for different types
of events. Through this process, iterative improvements were made to the model until it was
deemed to be finalized. The final version was felt to adequately address the many types of
crisis/disaster events that were examined.
Further validation of the model was conducted through a third party review. J. D. Lewis,
Regional Safety Director of Bovis Lend Lease, reviewed the model for applicability to real world
crisis/disaster events. Mr. Lewis suggested the formulation of a "Plan B" as an alternative in case
the basic plan could not be used. It was decided that once a management plan has been
developed for a crisis/disaster, an alternative plan would be appropriate in many instances. If
such an alternative plan were to be developed for a particular crisis/disaster, the same
crisis/disaster management model could still apply.
The research developed a standardized model for crises/disasters that impact construction
proj ects. The model was prepared to address virtually any kind of crisis/disaster situation that
could arise on construction proj ects. The model known as the Construction Crisis/Disaster
Management (CCDM) model, has primarily three subparts:
* Plan in place to address crises/disasters
* Actions to be taken to prepare for a forecasted event
* Response to and recovery after an event
The three subparts are associated with a series of different steps as shown in Figure 4-1.
The "plan in place" consists of charting out procedures with constant refinement and revision. In
the case of an advanced warning of a crisis/disaster, certain actions are activated for the
response. Not every event will have an advanced warning, so "plan in place" can assist in
reducing the impact of a crisis/disaster even when there is no adverse warning. "Response and
recovery" constitutes all the actions taken during and after the crisis/disaster event. Every step in
the CCDM model contains three parts which are: assigning responsibilities, documenting contact
information and identifying respective action steps.
All levels of crisis/disaster management need the commitment of top management. Also,
crisis/disaster management is a function handled by a team of individuals and is not the work of
a single person in top management. Although, management involvement at various levels of the
crisis/disaster model is crucial, individual participation with allotted responsibilities can
successfully implement the model.
3. Develop & Implement
)Risk Communication, I I - -r
4. Drills, Evaluate
Drill Success 4-a.Modify the
5. Recognizing Signs of Possible
For Every Step:
6. Activate the Plan 1. Assign Responsibility
a. Preparation 2. Contact Information
b. Risk Communication 3. Action Steps
Event does not occur Event Occurs
9. Post Response Assessment
10. Share Lessons Learned
S11. Credit the Efforts
13. Modify the Plan
Yes 12. Evaluate Need for Change No
Figure 4-1. Model for construction crisis/disaster management (CCDM)
Description of Construction Crisis/Disaster Management (CCDM) Model
Crises/disasters which can be anticipated can be managed and they are the ones that can be
attenuated or even avoided. The following is a step-by-step description of the CCDM model:
Step 1: Potential Crisis/Disaster Identification
Crisis/disaster identification is the first crucial step in the CCDM model. The key points in
the identification process are:
* Identifying potential crisis/disaster that may impact a construction site
* Examine historical evidence on past natural crises/disasters in the area
Step 2: Risk Assessment
The risk assessment is conducted on a potential crisis/disaster to determine if a
management plan is to be developed for it. If not, the management plan is not needed and it is
not developed. Certain crises/disasters could develop in progressive stages of growth, whereas
others might not show any warning signs. The initial identification of the probability of
occurrence could result in efforts to stop the crisis/disaster and its aftermath. The risk for the
identified crisis/disaster event could be studied with the help of the following steps:
* Studying the site topography, site plans and prevailing weather conditions
* Understanding the geological, meteorological, and in some cases epidemiological factors
associated with specific crisis/disaster events
* Understanding the use of remote sensing technologies like geographical information systems
* Studying the surface elevation models with orthophotos, hydrographic surveys in case of
* Understanding all existing infrastructure facilities in the construction site region
* Understanding and training of medical procedures such as first aid
* Analyzing the budget for emergency services
*Hypothesizing the probable agents of crisis/disaster based on regional geography, history,
and past construction accidents
The formula for risk is, risk = probability of occurrence X severity of consequences. The
risk calculations take into account a number of factors and inferences on the site-specific
conditions. The manager's intuitive capacity and foresight about crisis/disaster events could help
in these risk calculations. For example, the probability of a nuclear strike on a construction site at
Gainesville, FI is nearly zero percent, hence the risk associated with such an event is nil.
It can be assumed that the tornado that hit central Florida in February 2007 was an
indicator of a weather crisis/disaster that could occur again. There, the risk associated with a
similar hit by such an event has an increased probability. In risk calculations, factors of
probability, consequences, phases of construction proj ect, and kinds of the construction activities
occurring at the time could be helpful in conducting an overall risk analysis.
Consider an example of a construction scene in New York City. The city is located in the
Northeast region of United States where the climate is primarily humid and all storm frontal
systems move eastward across the continent. The probability of being hit by a well-developed
storm system is high during winter. These storms generally continue to move eastward or along
the Atlantic coast accompanied by very strong winds, causing considerable property damage
over wide areas of the state. Other severe weather conditions could include high rainfall,
thundershowers, windstorms, snowstorms, blizzards, extreme heat, and drought, all of which
might inflict damage on a construction site. The season of the year associated with hazardous
weather conditions, along with the phase of construction of a given proj ect, should be analyzed
to objectively measure "risk" for the construction proj ects in New York. The consequences of a
storm could be predicted from the analysis of photographs of past disasters, buildings devastated
by similar weather patterns and rehabilitation provided by the governmental and non-profit
Figure 4-2: Risk Analysis of the construction crisis/disaster at various levels
The risk analysis of the probability of occurrence is the "likelihood" that an event will take
place and the consequences of the occurrence can be referred as the "impact" that the event will
have. If the project is under a lower probability of occurrence of the crisis/disaster event and its
consequences are also low, then it will lie under the lower left corner of the graph (Figure 4-2).
For example, a project in the state of Florida is nearly under a zero probability of occurrence of
hurricanes from January through March. If the consequences or impacts are also low, then the
proj ect is said to be in the lower threat zone of the matrix shown in Figure 4-2. In another case, a
project under construction in the state of Florida during the month of August is under high
probability of occurrence of hurricanes and the consequences of hurricanes on the projects is
high, Under these conditions, the proj ect is in the high threat zone of the threat matrix. Similarly,
the risk analysis can be conducted for projects under different conditions with the "threat
Three-dimensi onal models, similar to architectural -pre sentati on models, could b e used to
introduce on-table discussions and conduct further analysis. Introduction of various kinds of
constraints, even during the construction phase, that can result in temporary or permanent
damage to the facility could help in the risk assessment. In case of hurricanes, the structural
design engineers must work closely with the construction managers to analyze structures and the
potential impact of a crisis/disaster. It is required that the risk management must acknowledge
the sequence of construction activities and their risks. The multiple crisis/disaster prone
construction environments need careful risk evaluations.
Step 3: Develop and Implement Plan.
Directions and guidelines are created in the plan for all the ongoing construction activities
on the site. It is important to develop a plan and then, train all the Hield workers and supervisory
personnel to effectively act against the impending crisis/disaster. The plan can be divided into
three different categories:
Step 3a: Plan for the pre-event phase: The following steps need to be taken.
Prepare contact information
Assign responsibilities to different site personnel
Set up command centers (offices) with effective communication networks.
Develop set rules and standard operating procedures so as to counter the agent of hazard
in construction projects.
Establish a central meeting place (or places) for all the employees.
Assemble beforehand the emergency supplies that might be needed including, first aid
kits, flashlights, radios, batteries, communication devices, food and protective clothing
should be ready.
Devise area sketches, map layouts, or any other kind of planning documentation
associated with any probable crisis/disaster in advance.
Set up communication networks, emergency team identification, command ounces, and
signal mediums in advance.
Prepare all mitigation and risk communication services
Step 3b: Plan during the event phase.
The plan during the event will vary considerably, depending on the type of crisis/disaster. The
action could consist of all personnel finding a safe place until the event passes. In other events,
key activities can be initiated for a post-event response. In some cases the event itself is so short
that virtually no activities can actually be planned, e.g., lightning strike. Responses to the event
should be well coordinated between all the site personnel.
Step 3c: Plan for the post-event phase.
Plan for the post-event phase comprises of all the activities which help in restoring the
proj ect to regular construction operations. Management may consider utilizing the help of
experts for the analysis of damage and recovery procedures. All the site personnel should not
start any activities until asked to do so. The aftermath of the event can be devastating in certain
cases (hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, etc.), where complete rebuilding of the site from the initial
stages is required. Also, in other cases (low intensity earthquake), the effects might not be
harmful, like certain small cracks in the structure might reveal only superficial damage. The
collection of saved materials and resources is also one of important steps in the post-event phase.
Certain crisis/disaster events might be avoided if proper preventative measures are
implemented on time, e.g., the use of alternative uninterrupted power supply in case there is a
power failure. Also, proper lighting could save the construction site from an act of arson. The
planning stage establishes all the activities to be followed during the developing stage of a
crisis/disaster. All designers, engineers, planners and managers should work together to mitigate
the attack of probable crisis/disaster events on the construction proj ects.
Step 4: Drills & Evaluation of Drills:
Drills consist of exercises conducted which can test the full strengths and weaknesses of
the management plan. In the process of conducting a drill, regular construction activities stop and
a simultaneous response to a crisis/disaster is conducted. Human shelter and all other
arrangements (depending on the crisis/disaster) for the crucial hours need to be well coordinated
with all site personnel. Restarting the interrupted activities and returning to regular work tasks
are the aims of a drill. The specific tasks performed during the drill will depend on the specific
crisis/disaster that is being simulated. It is a test of actions which can combat the simulated
crisis/disaster using equipment, materials and procedures.
In case of suspicious substances on the site, the following steps constitute the drills:
On-site management to be notified immediately
Communication to warn all site personnel
Promptly shut down all operations in defined piece of time
Evacuation of all site personnel
All the evacuation routes serve all the traffic flow, so all routes and fire doors should be
All the emergency alarms and lighting should be installed and should be working
All the site personnel should assemble at a common meeting place
Alternative shelter should be available in good condition
Remove the suspicious substance from the working zone to avoid exposure
Avoid contact with any exposed personnel
Sheriff~ s and emergency responders to be called and only they are allowed to handle the
If the substance lies inside the covered site, then ventilation systems must be assessed to
determine if they are to be shut down
If the substance lies outdoors, all flammable substances and ignition sources are to be removed
Evaluation of drills for the adequacy of planning for the crisis/disaster event is done after
every exercise. The success of the drill prepares the site personnel mentally for an actual event to
be addressed more efficiently. Any mistake in the drill teaches lessons that should not be
repeated. If there is a need of the plan to be modified due to its weaknesses, then new elements
should be introduced in the revised plan. Continuous modifications, drills, and continuous
planning create a stronger solution for the crisis/disaster management plan.
All the steps of the CCDM model establish the need of constant feedback of ideas in the
development of plans. An alternate plan could be activated if management realizes that the initial
plan is unsuitable. The alternative plan needs to be evaluated in a similar manner to the initial
plan with rigorous drills.
Advanced Notice of the Crisis/Disaster
Crises/disasters can vary considerably in terms of the extent of advanced notice or warning
signs that are given about the eventual occurrence. When an advanced warning exists, it is
important to watch for the signs and to recognize them. Additional steps can be taken in the
crisis/disaster plan to reduce the impact of the crisis/disaster as preparations can be made.
The advanced warning is the forecast or likelihood of the occurrence of a particular event.
The monitoring or observation of the event and immediate preparation can save the company
from the crisis/disaster' s after-effects. The advanced awareness of the coming event could help
in identifying and understanding the following:
* Level of risk and probability of occurrence
Observation may be the most important factor in saving a construction proj ect from a
crisis/disaster. The failure to recognize the signs of a crisis/disaster in the early stages could
result in conditions whereby all construction activities would stop once the crisis/disaster became
a reality. The crisis/disaster conditions could be studied with the following characteristics:
* Strength: the magnitude of the crisis/disaster will dictate the ease of recognition
* Occurrence: the likelihood of occurrence will define the level of risks
* Action period: the striking phase or duration of the impact of a crisis/disaster event must be
* Coverage: the area under influence or the extent of impact
* Velocity: the speed and direction of the crisis/disaster
* Pattern recognition: the trends and all composite elements of the crisis/disaster
For natural crises/disasters, the weather agencies can predict such events as thunderstorms,
rain, hurricanes, and snow-storms. Some crises/disasters, such as fires from lightening;
tornadoes, and earthquakes cannot be predicted with accuracy. Different methods are utilized to
help forecast different events. In case of an accident on the jobsite, nothing could be predicted as
accidents just happen without notice, although there are indicators of poorer safety behavior that
might suggest a higher probability of occurrence. For example, the behavior of a worker might
be a precursor to an accident, as in case of a worker under the influence of a controlled
A winter storm watch by the weather agency means that conditions are developing in the
area under study for a winter storm and usually these can be predicted 12 to 36 hours prior to
occurrence. A blizzard warning means that strong winds, blinding wind-driven snow and
dangerous wind chill are expected and preparedness for proper shelter is indeed required within
Step 5: Recognizing Signs of Possible Crisis/Disaster (Monitoring)
Weather services inform the public through media of approaching crisis/disaster events.
Weather warning can be valuable for management personnel on construction site. Once it is
apparent that a predicted event will impact a construction site the crisis/disaster plan is activated.
Step 6: Activate the Preparation and Mitigation Plan
The activation of the plan needs the site personnel to act efficiently on the charted out plan.
Care should be taken on the timely activation of the plan. Actions are taken to
* Prevent or reduce damage
* Provide protection during the event
* Be ready for the post event response
The activation step is further divided into three categories: preparation, risk
communication and mitigation. The subcategories are explained as follows:
Step 6a: Preparation
The advanced notice to an upcoming crisis/disaster event gives time to prepare and
respond effectively. The developed and tested plans are activated at this stage. The preparation
may include the following steps:
* The plan of action is finalized, in case additional modifications were deemed necessary
* The life safety plans and all emergency routes should be ready to be used
* Documenting, analyzing, and protecting the utility shutoffs, electrical cutoffs, electrical
substations, storm drains, sewer lines, MEP lines, gas lines, fire suppression systems,
restricted areas and valued-items
* Identifying the resources needed to address the consequences of the crisis/disaster event
* Ensure that assigned responsibilities are assumed by the designated individuals.
* Understanding the timing and sequence of different activities
* Identifying all the personnel resources that will be utilized: location, phone numbers,
hotlines, operations manual
* Consideration of viability of the alternative plan for the assumed crisis/disaster
* Saving all the potential intellectual properties, computer files, data servers placed under
different divisions and multiple regions, use of Application Service Providers (ASP) as
databases over the Intemet. The use of easily portable ipod option could be used to save
records for the company
* Setting up of alternative power resources such as uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems
* Collecting all necessary inventory items: first aid supplies, material supplies, equipment,
* Networking: both private and public connections intact
* Understanding escape routes with GIS enhanced planning: spatial analysis, routes,
transportation networks, connecting arteries, utility grids, vehicular haulage, evacuation
networks, crowd control tactics and traffic control points
* Assigning shelters according to preference, capacity, needs, access, time-suitability and
* Assigning the alternative offices and worksites: The assigning of alternative locations for the
continuation of business in the event all current working zones gets collapsed
* Constituting all the emergency shelters, evacuation plans, stockpiling measures, inventory
control, maintenance of supplies and equipment, back-up life-saving services (e.g. power,
* Preparing the inventory of transportation services
The training of the construction management team working for the crisis/disaster
management is crucial in the preparation phase. The training of the site personnel can consider
* Mode of training could be classroom training and self study or independent study
* Special classrooms or worksite should be used to train
* Hardcopy, pamphlets, intemet publications of training manuals should be used to provide
the medium of training
* Bi/multi lingual use in the training documents and procedures should be beneficial in case the
site personnel are from multilingual backgrounds and are less adaptive to single language
* Interactive software/DVD, Safety posters, pocket stuff should be used for reference
Step 6b: Risk communication
The communication is divided into two categories:
* Internal Communication
* External Communication
Internal communication is referred to the information flow inside the company and
external communication is referred to the information flow to the external agencies for help and
coordination. The communication of construction crisis/disaster plan consists of collecting,
processing, and disseminating of all relevant information by all probable means.
The information dissemination is to occur in a stipulated time frame. As soon as
management becomes aware of the potential crisis/disaster, immediate actions should be taken,
as a single second saved might be a value added to the plan. The internal communications should
occur directly between the main office and to the designated responsible site individuals. It is
important that the external communication to the life safety agencies (fire department, first aid
services, police department, sheriff s office, any other governmental or private agencies and 91 1
centers) be made in a timely fashion.
Choosing contacts that are at different locations could be useful in letting management
know the status. The company or on site authority may call or e-mail to check on each other in
case of need during crisis. It is important that every managerial staff member on site has all the
important contacts, and each other's e-mail addresses and telephone numbers (home, work, pager
and cell). If phone calls become j ammed due to heavy volume, then email should be used
Satellite phones, which could be expensive, are one of the best options for the needed
communication in a crisis/disaster. One could expect the most consistent mediums and
communication networks to convey the signals in an instant. The interoperability of the
communication systems can save considerable time in the circulation of news among the
company members, so everyone should be using the same communication network provider.
Public warning systems provide assistance in the case of natural crises/disasters and even
an alarm or radio in the crucial hours could be useful to communicate the crisis/disaster. The "get
alert" signal from the radio or television may constitute communicating a natural crisis/disaster
such as a hurricane or snowstorm. If time permits, the use of brochures, papers, phones and
posters could also be viable means of communication.
Step 6c: Mitigation
Mitigation constitutes the exercises which can minimize the adverse effects of the
crisis/disaster event. The company can save the construction site from a number of losses with
the mitigation process. Here the risks related to construction proj ects could be proj ected to
undergo attenuation, which could be termed as "risk-reduction." Some of the mitigation tasks
that could be performed by the construction company are:
* Reinforcement of structural elements that might be in j eopardy
* Shielding the surfaces of walls
* Demolition of a structure, in case bracing or shield could be not be provided
* Mobilization of components, to a safer environment
* Evacuation of facilities and components
* Changing of the sequence of activities in the schedule of construction process if required
In certain cases, mitigation might not be possible, so evacuation might be the only viable
option. Supply Chain Management (SCM) in construction requires being a master in knowing
"what" they have and "where" it is. A model of SCM could be utilized to help the company
better mitigate the effects of crisis/disaster by relocating materials and equipment to safer places
Step 7: Response
The human reply to natural crises/disasters during the event constitutes the "response"
phase of the CCDM model. Careful actions should be taken which can save lives and proj ect
resources from the crisis/disaster events." Direction, coordination and not loosing the focus" are
the most important elements in this step of CCDM model. The evacuation activity composed of
evacuating people immediately from the danger zone is the most appropriate response activity in
some cases. Controlling the intrusion of untrained and unsolicited visitors is important for their
own safety. In case of fire on a construction site the immediate response would be extinguishing
the fire. Of course, an assessment must still be made before acting. The fate of the recovery
phase depends upon the effectiveness of the response action.
Step 8: Recovery
The restoration activity is aimed at restoring the working state of the construction site to
operational status. The "recovery" state emphasizes the careful handling of all the damaged
materials and protecting the reusable elements for construction. Recovery could be divided into
On-site recovery deals with site specific redressing activities, whereas the community level
recovery activities are aimed at helping the community regain its normal status. Before any
recovery efforts take place, an assessment must be made of the damage on the site. Serious
hazards must be identified, e.g. powerlines knocked down, unstable structures, etc. Recovery at
the construction site may be addressed by restoring powerlines, removing debris, recreating
facilities, draining floodwater, cleaning up activities, restoring destroyed property, etc. Further
recovery activities may include the following:
* Search and rescue operations
* Restoration and repair of roads
* Movement to high ground in case of flooding
* Distribution of food, clothing, shelter, health and medicinal articles (first aid kits)
* Salvage of materials
* Neutralization of the situation
The media can play a significant role in influencing the reputation of a contractor with the
clients and the community. For example, a community might be impacted by a storm. If a
contractor in the neighborhood quickly mobilizes to assist in the recovery and rebuilding phase
after a storm, the goodwill of the contractor might be considerably enhanced. The media can help
to highlight the beneficial actions of the contractor. Several articles in j ournals and newspapers
were examined to understand how contractors had responded to past crisis/disaster events. The
recovery phase is often seen with the intrusion of media personnel on the site. Media personnel
and j ournalists aim at achieving the inside story of the crisis/disaster on the site. To safeguard the
public image of the construction company, the following points could be used:
* Choose one spokesperson to handle the media and j journalists
* Remain calm about the situation
* Ask the media to permit time to talk later
* Provide only pleasant responses, as the spokesperson can help preserve the company
reputation by avoiding negative messages
* In any case, the spokesperson should not generate public outcry and should not be the source
of any negative media coverage
* Demonstrate total control over the situation
The shocked and distressed people should be helped in the comforting process in this
recovery phase. The family members of the one' s involved in the rescue operations or the ones
offering assistance should be informed with compassion to create a less stressful environment.
All arrangements should be made to restore the construction site to operational status as soon as
Step 9: Post Response Assessment
The aftermath of the crisis/disaster and in some cases, their probable causes of occurrence
are studied in this step. The post response assessment consists of the following:
* Documentation of damage on the effected site
* Expert analysis concerning the state of affairs
* Damage assessment
* Injury assessment
* Evaluation of monetary losses and saved articles
* Evaluation of the response and recovery efforts
Step 10: Share Lessons Learned
Learning is often the result of unfortunate experiences. This is also true of crisis/disaster
events. After a company has responded to the occurrence of a crisis/disaster, it is advisable to
examine the events that led up to the crisis/disaster and identify changes that might be taken to
reduce any future losses.
The lessons learned in the post response assessment phase are shared among the team
members to see what was missing in the preparation phase. The evaluations in terms of lost work
hours, and even monetary-units and performance-units could be shared with the management
team, so as to start a new plan of action. When causal factors can be controlled, additional efforts
can be taken to prevent future crisis/disaster events.
Step 11: Credit the Efforts
The acknowledgement of the efforts of all the team members should be done shortly after
the event has subsided. The continuation of operations involves strengthening the morale of
those involved in the response and rescue operations. "Credit the efforts" could be summed up
with the following points:
* Recognize the valor and success of saviors
* Console those adversely affected
Step 12: Evaluate Need for Change
The analysis of the mistakes and shortcomings of the preparations for the crisis/disaster
should be made by the team committee. The obj ective of this assessment is to identify the need
for specific changes. Reassessment of the plan from all perspectives is required to be made at
various levels, from field supervisors to top management. The requirements for the response and
rescue operations should be reevaluated at this time. The management team needs to address
factors that could possibly contribute to the causation of crisis/disaster events. For example,
structural failure could be studied as a consequence of improper design or contractor' s mistake of
using incorrect construction techniques. If all went well in the planning and response phase, then
there is little need to develop any changes in the plan. A decision needs to be made concerning
the need for any plan modification.
Step 13: Modify the Plan
If the plan needs to be modified, then all appropriate arrangements for the strengthening of
the model are to be made. Making modifications is a serious planning issue, where the help of
certified engineers, designers, safety managers and others could make the next probable
crisis/disaster less destructive. Since natural crisis/disaster may be unavoidable, the only remedy
for them is to prepare a stronger defense system, thus planning more effective response
measures. After the modifications are made, the revised plan can then be implemented, including
the training, drills, and subsequent evaluations.
Different events, constraints and conditions can be introduced to the applicability of the
model. Ideally, the model should address any type of crisis/disaster event. Realistic construction
scenarios will be used to test or examine the applicability of the model. Construction proj ects
have numerous potential crises/disasters that could have a negative impact. Each of these
potential crises/disasters requires a unique plan to mitigate the potential damage or harm that
might result. While many different events might impact a construction proj ect, three cases are
presented to illustrate the application of the CCDM model.
Case of Hurricane
Step 1: Potential crisis/disaster identification: Hurricanes are most common in the
coastal regions of the USA. In Florida, hurricanes might be potential crisis/disaster events from
June to November. Further, certain regions of Florida which are near the coast are more
susceptible to more damaging winds of hurricanes than the inland regions. Regional history of
any area could be studied to identify hurricanes as potential crisis/disaster events.
Step 2: Risk assessment: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it became known that the
risks associated with hurricanes could be extremely high. For a construction proj ect in the path of
a hurricane, assessments must be made about the potential for loss. This will depend to a
considerable extend on the type of proj ect and the phase of construction. As the hurricane
advances towards a construction proj ect, more details will become known about the potential
risks. It is common to describe the hurricane by strength, designated as categories, which are 1,
2, 3, 4, and 5. These categories convey information about the wind speed and the expected storm
surge (Table 4-1)
Table 4-1. Category of Hurricanes
Category Wind Storm Surge
1 74-95 mph 4-5 ft.
2 96-110 mph 6-8 ft.
3 111-130 mph 9-12 ft.
4 131-155 mph 12-18 ft.
5 156 + 18 +ft.
Since the strength of a hurricane cannot be predicted months in advance, (when a project is in the
planning stages) the management plan must be developed for the worst case scenario. The on-
site actions in response to an approaching hurricane will be tempered by the anticipated strength
of the hurricane.
Step 3: Develop and implement plan: The preparations for the hurricane should start
with top management. The plan could be divided into three different categories,
Step 3a: Plans for the pre-event phase: In the pre-event phase, the plan will be focused
largely on reducing or minimizing the impact of the hurricane. The plan will address the
* Inform all site personnel about the hurricane
* Form a response team with designated responsibilities
* Prepare for immediate closing down of operations and secure material and equipment on the
* The emergency supplies including flashlights, first-aid kit, emergency food, water, dust
masks, and battery operated radios should be available and in working condition.
* The development of mobile communication centers might be beneficial.
* The lines of communication must be outlined for the external and internal organizational
charts. The external organization chart corresponds to all the external agencies to be
contacted and the internal organization chart refers to all the contact information of all key
company contacts. The location, telephone numbers, email-addresses, and fax numbers must
be distributed among the designated team members. It is important that the transition of
responsibility along the chain of command is without breaks.
* All the materials and valuable resources should be stored in secured areas.
* Information about local facilities such as medical centers, hospitals, nursing homes, schools,
governmental offices should be distributed to all personnel.
* All site personnel are responsible for the security on site. Control over entry-exit gates and
internal movement routes should be clearly established.
* The procedures to turn off the utilities should be taught to the key site personnel
* Emergency shut-off valves and emergency equipment should be ready for use.
* Insurance and contractual documents for post event response should be prepared.
* Ensure that there are adequate supplies of water and food on site in the event that the
infrastructure fails completely.
* Wallet size laminated emergency cards with emergency action plan could be made and
distributed to all construction team members.
Step 3b: Plans during the event: Hurricanes can produce violent winds, incredible
waves, torrential rains and floods. The evacuation activities should have been done in the pre-
event phase. This phase needs all the site personnel to stay indoors in safe shelter. While inside,
all site personnel should remain away from outer doors and windows. The electricity should be
turned off. All the construction activities should be stopped, until all clear is announced. Flying
debris could hit any site personnel, so all should remain inside.
Step 3c: Plans for the post-event phase: The site personnel should watch for weakened
structures and bridges, broken tree limbs or structures on the construction site that could collapse
unexpectedly. Expert analysis of existing structures and the overall construction site should be
made before starting further construction activities. In certain cases, the structure might need to
be built again from start, whereas in other cases, small repair work can quickly restore the
structure. Site personnel should not touch fallen or low hanging wires, or obj ects in contact with
power lines. All efforts should be made to return the proj ect to its normal construction status.
Step 4: Drills & evaluation of drills: Drills can be conducted to determine how well the
plan has been organized and how well everyone understands it. A drill is essentially a simulated
event. The construction site team is expected to demonstrate the evacuation and closing down
activities in a minimal amount of time. The fire extinguishers should be working and everyone
should know how to effectively operate them. Establishing an effective communication network
will be of particular importance in the drill. Smoke detectors and signaling devices should be
The evaluation of the drill is essential. A critical review may identify shortcomings to the
procedures. Then, modifications can be made to the plan. If substantial changes are made, a
subsequent drill might be conducted.
Advanced notice: The National Weather Service or similar organizations can make
meteorological predictions which can identify coverage areas, wind speeds and other
characteristics of hurricanes. The coastal areas expected to be impacted with high water levels
and high waves can be identified easily with accuracy.
Step 5: Recognizing signs of possible crisis/disaster: Hurricanes rotate in a
counterclockwise direction around an "eye." A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when winds
reach 74 mph. It is often feasible to know about the possibility of a hurricane 7 days to 24 hours
before they strike an area, which can provide sufficient time for at least some preparations. A
hurricane forecast involves the prediction of several interrelated characteristics, but the
fundamental element of the forecast is the future motion of the storm. Track prediction serves as
the basis for forecasting other storm features, such as winds, rainfall, storm surge and the areas in
the path. It is important to make judicious use of the advanced warning.
Step 6: Activate the plan: The hours just before a hurricane hits an area must be used
wisely. The documentation of the facility under construction should be done routinely with
digital pictures and video recordings. This will be useful to demonstrate the before/after impacts.
All communication networks should be in working order. Protective materials (masking tape,
plywood, lumber, etc.) should be readily available to start the mitigation actions. All trash and
loose materials should be collected and contained to prevent them from becoming flying debris.
Because of high winds, windows of trailers and all other openings should be covered.
Trailers should be placed in safe secured areas. It is important to secure the materials and to
document of all the materials, equipment, and construction statistics. Back-up all the data on
computers and even the paper documents should be kept at different locations to help preserve
information. Secure materials in safe areas and install necessary bracing of masonry or exterior
walls. Cover glass doors, windows with shutters, plywood, or other covering materials. Masking
tape, waterproofing materials, or canvas can be used to help safeguard the windows or doors.
Sheet metal and ductwork that has not been installed should be secured with wire rope to prevent
it from being blown away. Remove all dumpsters or secure their contents. Scaffolding should be
secured. Remove loose branches from the trees (if they exist) on the site. All the electrical
equipment and electric cords should be unplugged. The company vehicles should be filled with
gas and parked within a secure zone with parking brakes on. Remove vulnerable wood or metal
signage to prevent them from being lost in the storm. The cranes, hoists and booms should be
lowered and secured. Lockout/tagout all necessary equipment. The first-aid kit should be
assembled and well stocked. The mitigation stage needs everything to be ready for the
Supplies for the preparation are as follows, but are not limited to:
First aid supplies
Plywood to cover openings and windows
Battery powered AM/FM radio/weather radio
Flashlights, and various kinds of spare batteries
Miscellaneous tools: shovels, hammers, brooms, wet/dry vacuums, rope, drinking water
Extra fuel for equipment
Extensions cords, portable generators, sump pumps for dewatering
Nails assorted types, powder actuated fasteners
Duct/masking tape, miscellaneous lumber 2 x 4's, 4x4's
Extra film for cameras and/or one use cameras
List of emergency phone numbers
Cell phones that are fully charged
Continually inform the facility owner and a contact person at the home office of the
preparation status for the hurricane. The mobilization and demobilization plan needs to be ready
at this stage. A carefully designed logistics plan will take care of the communication centers,
transportation, facilities coordination, and resource tracking.
Step 7: Response: The foremost point in the response phases is for the team members to
stay calm. However, the team should be alert and guard against panic and anxiety. All team
members should stay inside during the hurricane until all is clear. Sometimes, there is a
likelihood of a second hit by the hurricane after the eye passes, so care should be taken for such a
situation. Battery radios could be turned on to monitor the outside situation. In case of
evacuation, all employees should know the procedure and the exit routes.
Step 8: Recovery: The status of critical facilities, services, communication networks,
public works and utilities, and transportation facilities should be quickly assessed as they need to
be operational. The damage sustained by the proj ect should be assessed promptly. This will be
important as resources must then be allocated appropriately. Structures which have sustained
serious structural damage must remain vacant until the structure has been restored under
engineering supervision. The following points relate to the recovery phase:
* Recovery starts with a survey of entire site.
* Reconnaissance and observation of the damage to the site is a vital factor in the recovery
* Timely removal of damaged and scattered materials should be performed with caution and
care, where the search for missing persons or elements that can be saved or elements that can
be salvaged should be carried out.
* Site cleaning activities should follow after expert analysis
* The environmentally acceptable disposal of debris and waste is required.
* The personnel, materials and equipment should be mobilized to restart the work.
* Continue to monitor radio broadcasts for news and instructions.
* Evaluate the integrity of gas lines and electrical circuits. Turning off the main gas valves,
opening the windows, and sending the people outside are cautious steps to be followed.
* Cleaning off any kind of spilled liquids, agents of fire, bleaches, and gasoline must be done
immediately and with caution.
Step 9: Post response assessment: Management should assess the construction site with
the help of expert engineers. The planned procurement of supplies and inventory control should
be addressed in this stage of the management plan. The following items should be performed
* Cost accounting and monetary estimates need to be developed for the recovery stage by the
estimators and the management team in order to understand the proj ect' s financial health.
* Identification of injured individuals and timely notification of family members to minimize
the trauma to the victim's families should be done in a sincere manner.
* Filing applicable workers' compensation claims is the responsibility of the company.
* Thorough evaluation of the destruction should be done. Also, the damage on the construction
site should be documented with photographs or video records for comparison with the
Step 10: Share lessons learned: The lessons learned in the post response assessment
phase should be shared among the team members to determine what modifications would
strengthen the plan. The evaluation of losses in monetary and productivity units could be shared
with the management team, so as to create a new plan for full recovery
Step 11: Credit the efforts: The acknowledgement of the efforts of all the team members
should be done shortly after the hurricane has subsided. The continuation of business involves
strengthening the morale of those involved in the response and rescue operations. "Credit the
efforts" could be summed up with the following points:
* Recognize the efforts and successes of site personnel
* Console the adversely affected individuals
Step 12: Evaluate need for change: By using the information gained in the post response
recovery and the lessons learned, an evaluation can be made regarding the need for further
modifications of the plan.
Step 13: Modify the plan: The reinforcement of the plan with positive changes makes the
hurricane management plan well suited for future hurricanes. The only remedy for the natural
crisis/disaster is to prepare a stronger defense system, thus planning more effective response
measures. The anticipation of hurricanes with well prepared drills and simultaneous
modifications can save lives, material, money and resources.
Case of Earthquake
Step 1: Potential crisis/disaster identification: It is almost impossible to predict an
earthquake, but certain geographical locations are at greater risk than others. In earthquake prone
areas, an earthquake can happen any time of the year without warning. The earthquake can be
felt by a series of wave-like vibrations, which travel through the earth' s crust.
The classification of earthquakes is characteristic of their depth:
* Shallow- less than 70 km deep
* Intermediate- 70-30 km deep
* Deep- more than 300 km deep
There are no earthquakes known to take place below a depth of 720 km.
While little can be done to anticipate an earthquake, the earthquake management plan can
effectively address the post-event response phase.
Step 2: Risk assessment: After it is recognized that the region is in a high probability
earthquake zone, the next step is to make risk calculations. The risk could be calculated by
determining the phase of the construction proj ect (most vulnerable to damage), probability of
occurrence of an earthquake and the related consequences. Planning for the earthquake requires
management to understand earthquake characteristics. Certain earthquakes have hardly
noticeable vibrations, whereas others can have catastrophic affects. Based on risk assessment, it
might be determined that the risk is sufficiently serious and that an earthquake is likely to occur.
Under these conditions, a management plan for an earthquake should be developed.
Step 3: Develop and implement plan: The plan should be divided into three different
Step 3a: Plan for the pre-event phase. Before an earthquake occurs, the pre-event
planning for the response systems is as follows:
All upright furniture and other heavy obj ects on the shelves should be secured or placed
on the floor
All heavy substances should be fastened at the lower levels in cupboards or closed boxes
Tightly secure the water heaters, gas and oil heaters
Gas pipes, MEP systems, electrical wiring should be in good condition to reduce
potential risk of fire
Step 3b: Plan during the event. When an earthquake strikes, with workers inside
buildings, they should position themselves under sturdy furniture, such as heavy desks or against
an inside wall. The workers should not leave the structure during an earthquake, when the danger
of heavy obj ects or masonry falling is high. If workers are outdoors, they should move away
from structures, canopies, overhead construction, cables and projections. They should then
gather in a predetermined location.
Step 3c: Plan for the post-event phase. Earthquakes might impact a construction site for
only a short time. Ground shaking and rupture are the main effects created by an earthquake,
where it principally results in more or less severe damage to buildings or other rigid structures.
So, all the site personnel should not touch any power lines or damaged structures. After a
complete site examination by the expert engineers, management can determine when to restart
the construction activities.
Step 4: Drills, evaluation of drills: Drills conducted on the construction site should be
instantaneous responses by all site personnel. While the responses are simple and only take a few
seconds or minutes, judicious attention to protocol is important. Evaluations of the drill require
the site personnel to strengthen the plan, if needed, by modifying it with further changes.
Warning/no warning. Accurate warnings are not possible for earthquakes. Sometimes
the earthquake will be followed by aftershocks in the following hours or days. Otherwise there is
no warning. The initial earthquake could be an indication of aftershocks in the following hours or
days. Otherwise, there is no warning.
Step 7: Response: The only maj or response possible in the case of an earthquake is to
calmly move towards the safe zone as described above. The steps to be taken will depend upon
the intensity of the earthquake and also the structure' s resistance to vibration which can save the
constructed facility from collapse.
Step 8: Recovery: It is important to understand that an earthquake can have secondary
effects and a second round of shaking after just a few seconds, minutes or hours. Smaller
earthquakes may also foretell large earthquakes in the future. Therefore, team members should
stay away from the proximity of structures when outdoors. Calling the emergency services and
communicating with all the internal team members is the next step.
Step 9: Post response assessment: Management should evaluate the management plan
after an earthquake has occurred. It is important to understand the mistakes in the earthquake
management plan so that similar destructive results might be avoided in the future.
Step 10: Share Lessons learned: If the earthquake is mild and with no serious damage, it
could be assumed that the performance of the construction process will succeed in its pursuit of
successful completion. It should be kept in mind that errors in planning should not occur.
Actions during the response phase should be evaluated. Forensic engineers can observe and
analyze the scope and causes of the damage done to the construction site. The geologists
studying the epicenter and the influencing radii of the earthquake can make predictions of the
probable reoccurrence in that geographical location. The company responsibility is for the safety
of the facility, material, equipment, workers and money.
Step 11: Credit the efforts: The rescue operations within the site and in the community
should be credited with top management involvement. One of the key issues to examine will
relate to the avoidance of unseen injuries and the minimization of property damage.
Step 12: Evaluate the need for change: The feedback provided by the earthquake
management plan, especially in the post response assessment and lessons learned phases will
provide valuable information about the need for plan modifications.
Step 13: Modify the plan: Modifications to the plan should be made if changes and
suggestions by the post response assessment and lessons learned phase.
Case of On-site Fall
The identification of an injury hazard on the j ob site is a safety issue to be addressed by
management. The top four causes of construction fatalities are: falls, struck-by, caught in-
between, and electrocution. Each of these causal factors should be considered.
Step 1: Identifying potential crisis/disaster: The company history of working on a high
rise construction proj ect and its consequent incidents of injuries could be the first step to watch
for similar events ahead. Then the potential of injuries during the construction of the proj ect
could be estimated. Despite predictions of low injury occurrence, there is always a chance of an
injury. Whenever work is performed at elevation, the chance of a fall is always present. To
address this, a company might implement a 100% tie off policy for all work performed above the
elevation of six feet. Workers being tied off does not ensure that workers will not fall, but that
they will be restrained from falling by the use of a harness. Even though a worker might be
"saved" by wearing a harness in a fall, a quick rescue is still required. A worker suspended by a
lanyard for an extended period of time could still result in a serious injury or even death.
Step 2: Risk assessment: The risk assessment for the injuries related to falls, when
workers are tied off, consists of the probability of occurrence and the severity of the
consequences. While no level of accuracy can be claimed in the computation, the key issue is
that there is a possibility of injury and it can be addressed with the allocation of few resources.
Enumeration of different factors contributing to the probability of occurrence is a crucial task at
this stage. The correct method of wearing the harness corresponds to the low or high risk of an
injury during a fall. The attachment of the lanyard near the center of gravity makes the fall
position safer for the worker.
Step 3: Develop and implement plan: Since the probability of the occurrence of a fall is
high and since the consequences of a fall can be serious, a management plan for the rescue of a
worker who has fallen with the use of a harness and lanyard needs to be prepared. The avoidance
for all kinds of injury incidents should be the goal of every construction company as safety
should be a core value. This effort can also save money on a construction proj ect. While many
safety parameters should be employed, this plan will focus specifically on the rescue of a worker
who has fallen and who is suspended by a lanyard. The plan could be divided into three
Step 3a: Plan for the pre-event phase. In the pre-event plan the following preparations
should be made:
* Workers should always wear personal protective fall arrest equipment
* A crane or JLG should be located in the general vicinity when elevation work is performed
* Install and maintain perimeter fall protection
* Floor openings should be covered and labeled
* Ladders and scaffolds should be used safely
The safety management team needs to be organized to make arrangements for the hour of
need. A key factor in a fall rescue is timeliness. If the method of wearing the harness is
inappropriate; all the efforts to save the worker could be in vain. It is important that the harness
is comfortable but not interfere with the task completion. The length of the lanyard is also an
important consideration. A shorter lanyard would put less stress on the body at the time of the
initial fall. A moveable safe anchor could be used, but it is not available for all construction
processes. Cranes could be helpful in rescuing a worker after a fall. All the communication
networks, internal and external, need to be documented in the company diaries. Emergency
response systems should also be tested.
Step 3b: Plan during the event. The site personnel should inform the supervisor or site
management about the occurrence of a fall. The worker under suspension should try to maintain
a position with the legs slightly raised. Cranes or other equipment should be employed for the
worker' s rescue.
Step 3c: Plan for the post-event phase. The worker tied to the lanyard and harness should
be carefully transported to a safe area. The worker being suspended should be asked not to stand
up, but should be asked to sit for some time and then gradually be taken to a normal position.
The internal body mechanism of the worker needs to be slowly revived to normal status.
Step 4: Drills & evaluation of drills: When a worker falls while wearing a harness and
while being tied off to an anchor, the worker will generally be uninjured but suspended. At the
moment a worker has fallen, the incident should be called to the immediate attention of a
supervisor or the safety manager. The posture of the person who has fallen is unpredictable but
this plays a crucial role in the worker' s probability of suffering from suspension trauma. Fall
victims can slow the onset of the suspension trauma by pushing down forcefully with the legs, by
positioning their bodies in a horizontal position, by slightly elevating the legs or by "standing
up" in the harness. The response of the rescue team needs to occur immediately as every single
second is important in the battle for life. The worker should be taken out of the suspended
position and should be gradually taken to a normal standing position. Caution should be taken to
keep the worker from standing up as high blood pressure release could consequently result in
death. Any mistakes or shortcomings of the rescue drill should be recognized and corrected in
the modified plan.
Advanced notice: The advanced notice on a construction site about falls is not apparent
as incidents occur mostly without any previous signs. However, the contributing behavior of the
worker (substance abuse, medication, risky behavior, etc.) may be seen as a predictive incident.
In most cases the prediction of such an event is difficult.
Step 7: Response: Once a fall has occurred, the proj ect should immediately actuate its
rescue plan. The attention by the co-workers during the construction activities can save a life.
The rescue consists basically of getting the assistance of a crane or other similar piece of
equipment. The crane can then be instrumental in getting the worker down in matter of minutes.
Step 8: Recovery: The rescue must take place swiftly to minimize the danger of
suspension trauma. The lanyard attachment point and the manner of handling the harness
determine the effects of the fall. If timely help is not provided, a worker can lose consciousness.
The important helping aid could be to move the person from the kneeling to a sitting position to a
supine position for half an hour to forty minutes.
Step 9: Post response assessment: If the worker has been taken out of the life-threatening
phase and circulation of blood has come to a normal level, the plan could be deemed successful.
The efficiency of the system should be assessed for this step. It is important to understand the
time taken to rescue a person. Safe handling of the fall victim and an immediate normalcy
response must be studied to draw conclusions about the need of additional modifications to the
Step 10: Share lessons learned: The drawbacks or advantages of the fall rescue plan must
be shared with the management team. The need to provide further training to maintain an
effective response should be shared with all appropriate personnel. Even with an effective fall
rescue plan, efforts should be sustained to avoid such fall incidents.
Step 11: Credit the efforts: All the site personnel associated with the response phase need
to be credited for their efforts and should remain prepared for such a crisis event in the future.
Efforts should be made to elevate the morale of all site personnel.
Step 12: Evaluate the need for change: The drawbacks, technical limitations or
performance weaknesses must be evaluated for the safety of the construction team. It is
important to understand that modifications can improve the fall management plan. If the
preparations had shown success, then there is no need to change the plan.
Step 13: Develop modifications: If there are evaluations stating that the emergency
planning is lacking in the proper functions of the rescue operations, modifications should be
made in the preparatory plans. Saving a life is important to boost the morale of the team and
maintain the reputation of the construction company.
Various kinds of calamities can affect a construction proj ect. Some calamities might take a
while to impact a construction project, while others might take a very short time to strike. Also,
sometimes it is not possible to estimate the consequences prior to the crisis/disaster event. For
example, a minor crisis/disaster event might have tremendous consequences, while a maj or
crisis/disaster event might not have any impact on the construction proj ect at all. Regardless of
the kind of crisis/disaster or its consequences, a common way of addressing the various kinds of
crisis/disaster events was developed. Crisis/disaster events at construction proj ects can be
effectively addressed with management plans being prepared with the use of the CCDM model.
In order to determine whether the model is applicable to different kinds of crisis/disaster
events, different tests were conducted to examine its validity. The CCDM model showed
applicability to all the crisis/disaster cases. The networking within different levels of the
Construction Crisis/Disaster Management (CCDM) model establishes the fundamental solution
for all kinds of crisis/disaster events on construction proj ects. Although specific actions at every
level of the model might vary, the fundamental organization of the CCDM model will remain the
All units of a company or even different construction companies should work together to
create common solutions for common problems. If incorporated into the management processes,
the widespread use of this model could save considerable resources, including money, materials,
labor and reputation. Without advanced planning or just ignoring standard practices, such as the
Construction Crisis/Disaster Management (CCDM) model, the actions in response to a
crisis/disaster would be little more than a random selection of actions.
The computer simulation of realistic 3D space models could be created to demonstrate the
magnitude of major consequences of construction crisis/disaster events. Computer simulated
models can analyze the merits of preparatory methods in various terms such as structural,
material, labor, financial, productivity and other elements in the context of the construction
If possible, then the crisis/disaster management plan should be coordinated with the
emergency plans of the local, state and federal governmental agencies. The CCDM model could
also be used in making preparations for national and international crises/disasters, thus
improving a nation's capacity to address all crises/disaster events.
It would benefit all the managers in the construction industry to prepare against various
crisis/disaster events. The result of this research provides a platform for the future establishment
of coordinated, direction-oriented and integrated response systems for future crisis/disaster
events that might impact construction proj ects. Also, the managers of construction companies
could review the CCDM model with their respective proj ects and made decisions about the
development of specific crisis/disaster management plans.
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Deepak Sharma received his Bachelor of Architecture from Guru Nanak Dev University,
Amritsar, India. After working for 4 years, he was selected for education in the M. E. Rinker, Sr.
School of Building Construction, University of Florida in 2005. His interest in the construction
and development Hields with architecture as the focus, enthused him to research various subj ects
related to engineering, science, and arts. He will continue to study and apply the scientific
approach to the construction Hield.
Deepak Sharma was born in Jalandhar, India. Upon graduation he plans to continue
working in the construction industry. He will focus on economic solutions for the construction
industry, most affordable housing, and safer construction practices for the international