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Construction Risk Mitigation Prior to and During Catastrophic Events

Bid and Tender Stage Considerations, Alternative Construction Methodologies, Modifying Working Times

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will advise construction counsel on best practices for preparing for catastrophic events, from wildfires to extreme heat to hurricanes and tornadoes. The panel will discuss how the more active, severe weather and climate activity of the last few years has led to construction projects with potential delays and adjustments in mind. The panel will provide counsel with factors to consider in pre-bid planning and tender stages, how to utilize alternative construction methodologies, and how to modify working times and supply chains to meet needs.


Extraordinary natural disasters, including Winter Storm Uri bearing down on Texas, record heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, the continued wildfire spread in California and other western states, or the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season with 30 named storms, forced the construction industry to prepare for catastrophic events for all projects. Construction businesses should remain vigilant in their preparations, with protocols ready to implement in the event of the unexpected.

Construction counsel should be aware of the risks that each hazardous event may pose. Many businesses must have an emergency action plan that meets requirements set forth under 29 CFR 1910. Construction firms should consult OSHA guidelines and local community emergency plans to develop a plan when initiating a project in a high risk zone. As part of that evaluation, construction firms should create a thorough emergency and evacuation plan.

Construction counsel should negotiate contracts and orders with the expectation of natural or other catastrophic events with pre-negotiated rates and/or delivery schedules that consider potential risks. Counsel must establish whether alternative delivery methodologies may provide risk mitigation for delivering a project, especially where delivery of supplies is delayed. Further, contracts should include liberal terms for modifying delivery times. Finally, if it appears that the project site might be shut down for an extended period, counsel must work with the client to avoid a construction site abandonment situation.

Construction firms and counsel should review all relevant insurance policies to determine whether they will cover damage due to weather or other unforeseen incidents and explore policies that may be necessary to cover the project's needs.

Listen as our expert panel discusses the intersection of the construction industry and disasters, as well as the need to pre-plan and evaluate risks both on the ground and in the contracts. The panel will address provisions such as pre-negotiated rates, alternative delivery methodologies, and timing that may mitigate risk to construction firms.



  1. Recap of major weather and catastrophic events from 2020 to today
  2. Construction concerns
    1. Pre-planning at the site
    2. Emergency evacuation plans
    3. OSHA reviews
    4. Local community regs
  3. Construction contracts
    1. Pre-negotiated rates
    2. Alternative delivery methodologies
    3. Timing
    4. Supply delays
  4. Insurance issues


The panel will review these and other relevant issues:

  • What is the financial impact of catastrophic events on construction in the last two years?
  • How should counsel address pre-bid and tendering of projects when major weather is anticipated?
  • What considerations to OSHA and emergency planning should construction firms review before beginning a project in a hazardous zone?
  • What are the specific provisions in the contract to mitigate risk when dangerous conditions are expected?


Kelley, Michael C.
Michael C. Kelley

Shutts & Bowen

Mr. Kelley’s practice focuses on construction, commercial and real property litigation, as well as transactional...  |  Read More

Klimas, Michael
Michael S. (Max) Klimas

Founding Principal
Keene Klimas Consultant Group

Mr. Klimas has over 34 years of experience in construction management and over 28 years of experience supervising...  |  Read More

Rush, Bill
Bill Rush

Managing Partner
Insurance Office of America

In 1985, Mr. Rush began his insurance career and spent 16 years as a third-party administrator overseeing all...  |  Read More

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