Proactive Preparation for Disaster Recovery

By Dana Rivera

It seems like the frequency and intensity of natural disasters has increased significantly in recent years. From the volcano eruption in Hawaii, to devastating wildfires in California and historic flooding in the South, governments are facing an unprecedented need to create a resiliency plan to protect their residents and infrastructure in the event of a disaster.

Part of a resiliency plan is to prepare your team by providing them with the tools to react and get your services and infrastructure back online quickly. It’s a stressful situation, and unfortunately, there are numerous challenges that make disaster response particularly difficult.

After a Disastor Strikes: Four Construction ChallengesCommon construction challenges arising from a disaster:

  • Lack of quality contractors
  • Sudden increase in equipment and materials prices
  • Inflated repair timelines
  • Complex federal and state compliance rules

Fortunately, you can address these challenges now and prepare for bringing facilities and infrastructure back online with the use of alternative construction procurement methods Public agencies across the nation have used Gordian’s Job Order Contracting (JOC) programs to help speed project delivery and rein in costs after disasters. JOC is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity construction procurement program. A Job Order Contract helps facility owners complete a large number of individual projects with a single, competitively bid and awarded contract. The contract is based on accurate, preset unit pricing that is customized and localized for each program.

How does JOC address the construction challenges that arise from a disaster and help prepare you for the inevitable?

  • It helps with contractor availability because you have a pool of competitively awarded, readily available contractors.
  • It helps eliminate 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.
  • It helps with project speed because the contracts are competitively awarded upfront for an indefinite number of projects. Awarded contractors are able to respond and begin work faster.
  • It helps with compliance for reimbursement because Gordian JOC programs meet 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.

Here are two quick stories about how local governments used JOC to jump into action and repair critical facilities following a disaster.

  • During Hurricane Harvey, Harris County, Texas leaned on their local job order contractors to execute more than 80 projects in less than 14 days. Those projects included 21 roof repairs to libraries, courthouses and administrative buildings, some of which were repaired during the storm with an almost immediate response time. The contractors knew the storm was coming so they were standing by with their equipment ready to go.
  • Between two historic snowstorms, Loudon County, Virginia used JOC to bring in heavy equipment for snow removal in buildings that were exceeding the design dead load and contractors to repairs roofs, drains and gutters before the next storm hit. The manpower and equipment were in place to quickly react in a short period of time. Afterwards, Loudon submitted detailed job order descriptions to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a successful reimbursement.

Job Order Contracting is a proven method to help public agencies get back online following a natural disaster. Click here to see how Gordian’s Job Order Contracting solutions have helped other governments save time and money when it’s most critical.