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Prepared, Not Scared: Emergency Construction Procurement

August 27, 2020

Breaking news: An emergency or natural disaster has hit your area. Every second counts. Do you panic or are you prepared to meet the needs of your community? Natural disasters and mechanical failures, such as a water line break or a bridge bearing failure, can create an emergency event that requires an immediate response. When the response to the disaster is delayed or deferred, further damages may occur. These are urgent, pressing needs that must be addressed. But depending on your emergency construction project delivery options, responding to disaster might cause your organization financial strain in years to come.


Common Challenges for Emergency Construction

Every public project owner can engage contractors and other service providers quickly following an emergency without abiding by traditional competitive bidding requirements. In other words, owners can address their pressing needs without delay. However, this expedited response time comes with a high price tag. Emergency repair rates for contractors can be well above standard labor costs. Such a major unplanned expense may force an organization to rethink or compromise its long-term goals.

There may be some financial relief for project owners. If a natural disaster impacts a large geographic area, the owner may be eligible for Federal reimbursement through FEMA funds. However, certain record-keeping requirements and procurement guidelines must be followed to qualify for reimbursement. Procurement officials need to provide complete and timely documentation to support the purchases made during the disaster.

In addition to the added stress and detailed documentation, there are common challenges that make disaster response and emergency construction particularly difficult. When a disaster strikes, owners may have a hard time finding quality contractors, may face inflated prices for equipment and materials and may encounter longer repair times. While they navigate these challenges, procurement professionals must still follow complex Federal and state compliance rules.

Disaster Recovery: Respond Fast When Your Community Needs You Most

A Solution for an Immediate, Cost-Efficient Emergency Construction

Gordian’s Job Order Contracting (JOC) programs help speed project delivery and rein in costs after disasters. For over 30 years, Job Order Contracts have provided facility and infrastructure owners with the ability to accomplish a substantial number of individual construction projects with a single, competitively-bid contract. Contractors bid a multiplier to be applied to a catalog of Tasks with preset Unit Prices developed using local labor, material and equipment costs. Job Order Contracts are generally, but not always, awarded to the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder. Once the contract is awarded, the owner can have the contractor perform a variety of projects. The contractor is paid the preset Unit Price x the quantity ordered x the competitively-bid adjustment factor. No negotiation required. And no emergency repair rates, either.

Gordian JOC addresses emergency construction challenges after a disaster and helps prepare you for the unexpected by:

  • Providing a pool of competitively awarded, readily available contractors.
  • Eliminating price gouging because prices are locked in at the outset of the contract and remain fixed for the duration of the contract, typically one year.
  • Expediting construction procurement so the contractors are ready to begin work immediately.
  • Meeting all applicable Federal procurement standards for use of Federal funds. Plus, all the project data is managed electronically, creating the detail and transparency typically required for reimbursement.

Emergency Construction for the Present. Cost Control for the Future

A recent IFMA study suggests that 81% of organizations with an emergency preparedness plan are “more resilient when recovering from unplanned events.” A plethora of emergency construction project delivery options should be considered part of any robust plan. Job Order Contracting is a proven method to help facilities get back online following a natural disaster. Emergency Response Job Order Contracts provide project owners with detailed cost information, fixed through competitive bidding, that meet the requirements for reimbursement from FEMA or the owner’s insurance carrier. Job Order Contracting is a powerful ally when navigating the construction procurement journey during crisis scenarios.


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