Though anecdotal evidence points to remodelers and builders experiencing an influx of business after the spring pause, the current hurricane season and rising coronavirus cases may complicate the industry’s recovery.
The fallout from extreme weather events could mix with COVID-19’s already negative impact on construction to disrupt supply chains, decrease the labor force, and cause local economic damage, according to NAHB.
Be prepared for hurricane season... in a pandemic
Coronavirus cases have been rising recently, shattering national records. According to the Center for Disease Control, there were 66,281 new daily cases on July 10, nearly double the height of the spring outbreaks. The new surge comes as people venture outside for summer fun, prompting some states to backtrack on the reopening of bars and other high-risk activities. In Texas, local papers are reporting that hopsitals are running out of drugs, beds, and ventilators.
NAHB recommends that construction businesses create a plan of action that takes into account any coronavirus-specific challenges before any hurricanes or tropical storms hit their area. Evacuations could be made even more difficult with social distancing measures in place, and downed power or phone lines could upheave the entire virtual, work-from-home culture many companies have put into place.
An above average hurricane season for 2020
In the perfect storm of public health risks, the rise in COVID-19 cases comes in the thick of the 2020 hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an “above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season,” which runs from June 1 through November 30. The administration forecasts 13 to 19 named storms, three to six of which may be major hurricanes, with 70 percent confidence.
“NOAA’s analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year,” Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator, says in a post on the organization’s website. “Our skilled forecasters, coupled with upgrades to our computer models and observing technologies, will provide accurate and timely forecasts to protect life and property.”
Check out NAHB’s blog post for more detailed information on how to prepare your business for hurricane season.