Officials from the California Emergency Management Agency recently met with members of the National Demolition Association to talk about how demolition contractors can provide crucial assistance during times of natural and manmade disasters.
John Weber, president of the National Demolition Association, revealed how demolition contractors can use their skills and equipment to help saves lives during times of disaster. Weber noted, however, that not all demolition contractors are qualified to serve in times of disaster, and that demolition contracts must be pre-qualified and involved in all stages of planning for emergencies, not just after the emergencies occur.
The Role of Demolition Contractors in Emergency Management
Weber explained, in detail, to members of the California Emergency Management Agency about the role that the demolition contractor can play at a disaster site. Their skills and experience would be able to assist emergency management officials to secure infrastructure, clear sites for emergency access, conduct urban search and rescue, and dismantle and recycle damaged or destroyed structures.
Although not considered to first responders, demolition contracts would follow the direction of emergency management officials. Weber also suggested the development of a program guide through the National Demolition Association. The guide would be used by emergency management planners and first responders to learn more about the many skills and attributes a qualified demolition contractor can bring to emergency sites.
Preparing for Times of Disaster or Emergency
The National Demolition Association also created the Disaster Response Manpower and Equipment Survey, which local and state governments can send to contractors in preparation of disasters as to ensure a faster response and eliminate the effects of delayed decision-making.
The survey is to be filled out by the appropriate demolition company as to ensure they possess the appropriate qualifications, including liability coverage, safety guidelines and training programs for its employees, OSHA Disaster Site trained workers, and the company’s mobilization/transportation capabilities.