Disaster Recovery: Using Temporary Buildings

Disaster Recovery: Using Temporary Buildings

Preparedness is Key

Know before disaster strikes

A sign with a tornado on it and the words Stay PreparedNo organization or business wants to experience any form of natural disaster, they happen anyway. The need to plan for them becomes even more critical. Disaster preparedness and recovery is a crucial component of a business plan. Securing reliable temporary buildings and mobile offices are a great way to ensure the continuation of your business. You can continue operations while your main/permanent facilities are undergoing repairs.

The essence of temporary buildings and mobile offices

When we talk about temporary buildings and mobile offices during a disaster recovery, we are merely referring to modular construction. Modular constructions are housing units that have all the potentials to get you back on track with minimal downtime. Apart from providing alternative office space, modular buildings offer a solution for recovery and volunteer centers. They also offer portable classrooms, lunchrooms, emergency/health centers, as well as congregational or meeting space.

Why you need temporary recovery buildings and mobile offices

Think about hurricane Harvey and Irma—the massive trail of destruction they left in their wake. Property worth Millions was lost to businesses and communities alike. A significant amount of properties were damaged, and business brought to an abrupt end in different locations across Florida, Texas, and Georgia. You don’t have to allow natural or man-made disasters affect your business operations. Recovery temporary buildings and mobile offices will be of great benefit by helping you to continue your business operations in the following order:

Mobile offices

A stairway inside a beautiful modular office

An office built by Intermodal Structures

In the aftermath of a disaster, mobile offices render on-site temporary office and storage space. They can also function as site, field or engineer offices to assist workers during disaster recovery efforts. Functional mobile temporary disaster recovery can rapidly be delivered in hours or a few days to assist recovery. In most cases, such mobile offices also include generators, telephone, internet equipment and furniture.

Modular construction

Modular construction involves the building of command centers, emergency rooms, medical clinics, office buildings and such other large-scale buildings using modular components. They are constructed in a manufacturing plant, making them time-saving solutions during disaster time.

Portable classrooms

If you have suffered damages from tornadoes, earthquake or terrorist attacks, they can benefit from modular classroom trailers also known as portable classrooms. They are available in different shapes and sizes and can be temporary or permanently installed.

Safety tips for using modular buildings

Damage to mobile building

If for whatever reason your mobile office trailer unit was hit by a colossal disaster causing it to flip or tossed to one side, losing its footing; never attempt to balance it yourself. Keep everyone, including pets from moving in or around the building. The ground may be affected by water and shifting may occur. So make sure you access the situation critically and call in an expert if necessary.

Watch out for instability

Do not attempt to enter the modular building if you notice it has lost its footing. Make sure the piers or block holding the structure are still intact before venturing in.exclamation point on a sign above the word emergency

Is it flooded?

If there is water gathering inside the building, do not step in yet. Verify if the electrical and gas connection is still in a functional state. Check for any damages. Also, if there has been no power restoration at the time of inspection, switch off the control box to avoid any incidence when restoration occurs.

Final thought

There is always a way to bounce back when disaster strikes, and recovery temporary buildings and mobile offices are the best means to continue business while dealing with the chaos.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, 8(a) Minority, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

The Evolution of the Spineboard

The Evolution of the Spineboard

The Spineboard

In the beginning

Before we can talk about the evolution of something, it is imperative we understand what that thing is all about. So what is a spineboard?

A spine board (or backboard) refers to a patient handling device used in pre-hospital trauma care, specifically to provide rigid movement for patients with suspected spinal limb injuries. They are very common with ambulance staffs, ski patrollers, and lifeguards.

Historical evolution of the spineboard

Centuries ago, early men used wood slabs with straps of sinew and leather to bind and secure an injured victim. The practice evolved a bit in 1979 when men started using slabs of woods together with straps of nylon webbing as a more advanced tool.  The majority of these boards were mostly manufactured of poorly sealed, inexpensive and incomplete plywood finish. Their unprofessional designs make them look bad when used, and considering their porous nature; they also absorbed fluids.

An advanced backboard

a wooden parr backboard

Bound Tree Parr

However, a little progress was made with the introduction of the Parr Backboard which featured quality Baltic Birchwood. The board has many great layers of sealants displaying impeccably over a baby-smooth sanding job. The Parr Backboard was a custom-made product with reinforced runners, lots of handholds and strap-pin locations. One of such board is a regional favorite in the Mid-Atlantic and is called the Henley Board from Maryland,–one that still maintains innovative and sturdy head immobilizer mechanism.

Enter the Plastic Backboard

Be that as it may, the advent of the dreaded HIV led to an increase in awareness among clinical experts and the need to control infection issues. From the increased sensitivity comes Plastic Backboards which quickly turn out to be the favorite material for backboards.

Some of the early and famously used synthetic plastic backboard was Ferno’s folding backboards which feature prominently in ambulances and were very reliable in performance. Today, the company (Ferno) is still a remarkable brand making waves with their plastic backboard, with different types and style of models in one catalog.

photo of an ambulance from 1975

1975 ambulance

Earliest Plastic backboards were either one-piece boards with acrylic runners or two-piece plastic. Some of these plastic boards use ABS plastic, which is a bit heavy. However, the real game-changing technology that emboldens plastic spineboards was the inclusion of rotational molding.

By using polyurethane-foam-filled high-density shells, these two parts were lightweight but sturdy and could withstand aggressive EMS use another popular two-part composite version incorporates fiberglass rods inside a hollow plastic board.

More advanced spineboard versions

The success recorded in two-part plastic spineboards led to the construction of a three-part version.  This uses molded hollow polyethene plastic laden with polyurethane foam with carbon plastic rods. The rods enable the structure to be stronger, but with time, the board could become flexible when the rods displace the foam inside the board.

Latest spineboard evolution

A picture of EZ LIFT backboard blue with blue straps

EZ LIFT Rescue Systems Backboard

The latest evolution involves the direct placement of the rods inside the molded plastic channels, allowing them to make contact with the plastic while the board appears well padded. This latest evolution allowing the rod to touch the plastic provides for a firm bonding as well as improving wear. The method is currently being used by most boards in the market.

Contour boards are another innovative development, featuring a concave surface which provides lateral stability and comfort. The EZ Lift Rescue System and the Kemp Lifeguard AB Spineboard are typical examples of highly reliable modern designs with unique features.

From the preceding, it is safe to say that the Backboard has evolved significantly over the past two thousand years, most especially for the past 20 years.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, 8(a) Minority, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

What is a Silica Dust Situation?

What is a Silica Dust Situation?

What is silica dust? 

Silica is among the most common elements that occur naturally on the planet. The mineral is found in most materials common on construction sites.  This includes soil, sand, on concrete, rocks, granite, masonry, and landscaping materials. When these materials are disturbed, it will create the silica dust.  Types of disturbance can be, grinding, cutting or drilling.

Possible situation when silica dust occurs

an x-ray showing the lungs being affected with Silicosis

lungs with silicosis

The dust from materials can comprise of what is referred to as silica particles. Typically, materials containing crystalline dust particles are not harmful unless they are disturbed. When disturbed, the materials will generate small-size particles capable of getting into your lungs.  This is a process known as “respirable crystalline silica.” These dust particles are usually microscopic, smaller than the sand you’ll find on the bank of the sea. They are so tiny that you cannot see them. They are a significant cause of lung disease and lung cancer. Just a little amount of silica dust is powerful enough to cause a devastating health hazard.

Construction materials that contain silica

There are lots of construction materials out there that contain silica, and these include but not limited to bricks, cement, asphalt, drywall, mortar, grout, tile (including the ones mentioned above) and others.

What illness can result from a silica dust situation?

When crystalline silica is present in the air due to disturbance of materials bearing silica, people, especially workers at construction or mining sites become exposed to it through inhaling. When people inhaled crystalline silica particles, severe or sometimes, life-threatening illnesses can occur.  Tuberculosis, silicosis, lung cancer, and acute obstructive pulmonary disease can result from it.

Furthermore, exposure to silica dust has also been linked to other dangerous health situations such as renal disease, and other forms of fatal cancers. In 1996, the International Agency for Cancer research on behalf of the World Health Organisation (WHO) identified silica dust (crystalline silica) as a factor responsible for the human carcinogen. The WHO reaffirmed this position in 2009, demonstrating how dangerous silica dust and its crystalline particles can be.

Effects & realism of a silica dust situation

The unchanging position of the WHO regarding silica dust entails it is a significant health challenge. Even the American National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recognized the fact that workers at construction sites and other industries stand a higher risk of contracting silicosis.  Silicosis is a progressive disease that only gets worse, even exposure to respirable silica dust has stopped.

Studies have shown that the numbers of people living with silicosis in the United States are estimated to be between 3,600 to 7,600 affected cases. New cases of the silica infection occur every in the US, and their surveillance programs in operation in Michigan and New Jersey.

A man working with his protective gear

disposable gear to protect from Silica dust

To mitigate the spread of the silicosis, the NIOSH recommended that construction or such other industry workers should refrain from bringing silica to the home by:

  • Using washable or disposable working clothes at the work site
  • Take a shower (if possible) and change into new clothes to prevent contamination of cars, homes, or other work areas.
  • Park your vehicle where silica will not contaminate it.

Lastly, the OSHA recognizes the danger silica pose to employees.  Therefore set forth a recommendation through its regulation 29 CFR 1926.1153, directing construction employers to minimize workers exposures to silica. The permitted levels at or below Permittable Exposure Level of (PEL50 ug/m3).  While complying with other exposure control methods and guidelines.

Silica dust is hazardous, and it is best to prevent such situation from occurring by keeping to acceptable working and behavior patterns.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, 8(a) Minority, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

 

Modular Construction: The Time Saver

Modular Construction: The Time Saver

Introduction—What is modular construction?

Modular construction refers to a building method wherein sections of pre-fabricated buildings are manufactured in a plant. Then later delivered to the customer in single or more complete modular sections. Modular construction enhances top-quality production and cost efficiency.  Every unit of the pre-fabricated building is constructed in an enclosed facility.  Wherein negative environmental factors are not allowed to weigh against the construction timeline.

Advantages & benefits of modular construction over conventional construction

Modular construction is becoming popular among homeowners due to some reasons.

Eco-friendly

Modular construction uses a strict control process that generates less waste, minimise site disturbance, reduce dust and other contaminants while enhancing tighter structure without damaging the environment.

Versatility & Flexibility

The various components used in modular buildings can easily be expanded, relocated or reused at any time. Such flexibility enables you to adapt to future changes or expansions at your place of business or domicile.

Quick Installation

Components of modular buildings are pre-engineered to pave the way for quick assembly during installation. A faster installation time results in a minimized cost of plant productivity.

 Reduced Cost of Labour

Modular building components are installed quickly and efficiently. This results in a lower cost of labor when compared to traditional construction.

Saves on Energy Bills

Modular homes are designed to be much more energy-efficient.  Therefore means your monthly expense will be substantially reduced.

Decreases Construction Time

About 60-90% of modular building construction occurs in a secure factory. This efficiently eliminates weather barrier while allowing timely completion of projects.

Low Maintenance Cost

Modular construction incorporates durable prefabricated materials that require very little maintenance beyond the occasional surface cleaning. This effectively eliminates the cost of surface repairs, repainting and other maintenance that bedevils conventional building method.

Does Every Modular Home Look Alike?

The popular misconception is that all modular homes look alike, but that isn’t the case. Modular homes have no limitations in construction. You can suggest and create any style of your choice. Almost every host plan can be converted into a modular home. This means you can build your ideal modular home.  Here is a great video from Intermodal Structures, that shows how modular construction is put together.

Facts About Modular Style Construction

  • Homes built using modular construction appraise similarly as their on-site built counterparts. They do not depreciate.
  • Modular homes are highly customizable
  • Their designs vary in size and style
  • They can build on basements and crawl spaces
  • Assessable home loans for modular houses are the same as their traditional      counterparts
  • Homes built using modular construction can withstand 175mph of winds
  • Modular homes are ‘real properties’ like their conventional counterparts
  • Most building companies that offer modular home construction has a department dedicated to CAD (Computer Aided Design).
  • Concerning taxation, depreciation for modular construction is just 7 years while that of conventional construction is 39 years.

Conclusion

Modular construction has a lot of benefits and uses for your comfort, and you can always acquire the best with the right information and company. Your budget aside, you can obtain a special construction loan valid for one year to aid your modular construction needs.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, 8(a) Minority, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

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