Skip to main content

Natural Disasters and Construction: Are you Prepared?

When a natural disaster strikes, the construction industry never goes untouched. Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and mudslides all have something in common – when they hit, they can cause irreparable damage. On one hand, these catastrophes bring new projects to a standstill; on the other hand, they act as a catalyst for improved infrastructure and technologies that can withstand future disasters.

No matter where disaster strikes, it is well-known that the construction industry plays an important role in the preparation, maintenance and recovery of a natural disaster. For construction professionals, understanding the risk of a natural disaster and how to manage its consequences is critical.


According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) the United States has sustained 219 climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. The cumulative costs for these 219 events exceeded $1.5 trillion, and you can only imagine how much of that fuels the growth of the construction industry.

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, it’s critical for contractors to have technology at their fingertips to efficiently manage recovery projects. Thanks to the opportunities presented by new technologies like construction management apps and virtual reality, we can now unify resources and adapt plans in real-time. The quality of bouncing back from a natural disaster often times depends on the speed at which recovery projects progress, and the communities depend on contractors for this. For construction workers managing disaster-related projects, consider adopting a mobile project management application to efficiently manage jobsite recovery. In addition to using an app, virtual reality tools can help you to easily understand underground conditions that are impossible to get to due to floodwaters or obstructed landscape. The combination of these technologies is crucial to the development and innovation of structures and land during and after natural disasters.

At the end of the day, not all-natural disasters can be prevented, however; there are important steps that can be done to plan ahead. The design and construction industry can play a major role in mitigating and recovering from these disasters by improving on structural developments and adopting technology to better manage efforts. Click here to see how your projects might be impacted by natural disasters and what you can do to prepare.