How to Prepare Your Site for Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Hurricane Season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30. Each year forecasters make their predictions about the severity the upcoming storm season. Find out what forecasters predict and how to be prepared when the storms come.

Predictions for 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Colorado State University are two of the leading forecasters for major storms. The 2022 season is predicted to bring above-normal storm activity, as has been the case for the last several years.

Here’s the forecast for the 2022 hurricane season in the Atlantic:

NOAA PredictionsCSU PredictionsAverage from 1990-2020
Named Storms 14-211914.4
Category 3+ Storms3-643.2

Heed the experts’ predictions and have a plan of action. Now is the time to check (or create!) a severe storm plan for your construction site.

Prepare Now for Warnings Later

Coastal projects near North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey may seem like the most at-risk sites, however, inland construction is not exempt from tropical weather.

Take action early to make sure your team and subcontractors are ready if warnings are issued.

Discuss flood zones, evacuation zones and routes, and emergency communication. Test back-up lighting and emergency generators.

Check your site for disturbed ground, flood prone areas, sensitive areas and vulnerable inlets. If these areas need to be stabilized, protected and reinforced put a plan in place to control erosion and flooding.

Keep reading to identify which products you need to secure your construction site this hurricane season. When the warnings are issued, you will be ready to take decisive action.

Construction Preparation for Severe Weather

Severe storms can result in severe erosion and uncontrolled runoff. Warnings are typically issued days before landfall so if you have time to prepare, take the following steps to mitigate erosion before the storm.

Stabilize Disturbed Ground

On any given civil construction site or commercial development there is typically a fair amount of disturbed ground.

Disturbed ground is the result of moving earth on construction sites. Clearing, grubbing, grading and excavating are all earth moving actions. Any disturbed ground that is not stabilized is subject to severe erosion during a strong storm event.

There are several ways you can temporarily stabilize disturbed earth before a hurricane.

Hydroseed to Stabilize Soil

Quickly stabilize disturbed ground by hydoseeding. This erosion control method involves hydraulically applying hydromulch and tackifier to the ground.

Hydroseeding with EarthGuard Hydraulic Mulch

The tackifier is the glue that helps the mulch stick to the soil.

For the hydromulch, we recommend 100% Cellulose for fast and temporary ground cover. 100% Cellulose Hydromulch, also known as paper mulch, is the most popular and cost effective hydraulic mulch option. Paper mulch is ideal for slopes with grades less than 4:1.

If you have steep slopes, you may want to consider a high-performance hydromulch like EarthGuard.

Learn More About Hydromulch Products

Install Temporary Erosion Control Blankets

If hydroseeding isn’t the right solution for your site, consider installing Short-Term Erosion Control Blankets. These rolled erosion control products are cost effective, easy to install and readily accessible.

Installing Single Net Erosion Control Matting on road shoulder

Short-Term Erosion Control Blankets like Straw Matting protect disturbed ground in order to prevent soil loss. Erosion Control Blankets protect the soil from precipitation and absorb the impact of rainfall. Install erosion control matting on slopes, channels and ditches that are vulnerable to soil loss.

Erosion Control Blankets include:

  • Straw Matting
  • Curlex Erosion Control Blankets
  • Coconut Erosion Control Blanket

Typically, we would suggest you seed in conjunction with hydromulch or erosion control blankets. However, it is likely that after the storm passes you will be back to work in these disturbed zones. If you expect to continue earth moving after the storm passes, seeding would be a wasted cost during storm preparation.

Defend Flood Prone Areas

Excessive water can be extremely damaging to construction sites. Hurricanes can dump upwards of 15 inches or more in an area. That volume of water is difficult to manage but there are ways to mitigate flooding.

Building barriers around critical areas is one way to control flooding.

Build a Sand Bag Barrier

Sand Bags are one of the most common storm proofing products. They are affordable, easy to store and readily accessible.

Sand Bag barrier

Sand Bags do require time and effort to fill and place strategically. Plan ahead and keep bags on hand if you’re in high-risk severe storm zone. 

Build a Sand Bag barrier around critical areas like stockpiles and trailers. While you’re at the trailer, place several bags in front of the door to seal off moisture. You should also use Sand Bags to weight signs and fence in place. This is a common day-to-day practice but it is critical to check these items before a storm, especially when high winds are expected.

Reinforce Silt Fence in Sensitive Areas

Silt Fence is subject to blowouts and failure during severe storms. You likely know the sensitive areas on your construction site so reinforce those areas with Silt Sock.

Install Compost Filter Silt Sock

For storm preparation reinforcement, we recommend adding a Compost Filter Silt Sock.

Compost filter sock installed alongside silt fence

Install Silt Sock parallel to the silt fence line to add a secondary filtering device. During a major rain event, water is going to be flowing through your silt fence fabric faster than ever. Silt Sock will filter runoff before (if installed in front) or after (if installed behind) passing through the fabric. It will also bolster your fence to give additional protection against blowouts.

Protect Inlets and Storm Drains

Hurricanes are major rain events that threaten to overwhelm on site inlets. Take all possible precautions to protect inlets from damaging volumes of sediment laden runoff. Guard the inlets that are at risk by adding stronger products or reinforcing the devices that are in place.

Dome Inlet Protection

Protect drop inlets with Domes that sit on top of the structure. The Domes can be placed on inlets that have not yet had precast inlets set or when the precast concrete box with grate is already set.

Round domes protect inlets on construction site

These strong plastic inlet protection devices are offered in Round or Square.

The Round Dome is perfect for 48” or 60” riser pipe where the tops have not yet been set. Use the Square Domes for tops that have been set.

The Round and Square Domes are covered with a filter fabric. The fabric allows rain in and filters sediment from runoff. The filter and domes are weighted into place with rocks, stone or sand.

We like these reusable inlet protection devices for storm protection because they keep out the sediment without inhibiting flow.

Take Action

Whether your construction site is inland or coastal, it is important to plan for the Atlantic Hurricane season.

All of these suggestions are typical erosion and sediment control practices. Chances are your site is already using some, or all, of these erosion control products. Taking the time shore up disturbed ground, sensitive areas and inlets before a severe storm can save you tremendous time and money.

If you want to stock hurricane preparation items now, contact us to receive pricing on hydromulch, rolled erosion control blankets, sand bags and inlet protection devices.

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