As most people who live in hurricane-prone regions of the country know, June 1 is the official start of the six-month-long "hurricane season." Of course, over the years, many people, contractors included, have likely become accustomed to the annual storm season, and may even take it for granted. (In Florida, some people likely view it as just another of the perpetually tropical state's "seasons," along with "tourist," "mosquito" and "fire.")

Of course, hurricanes are no laughing matter. Ask anyone in New Orleans. Or Galveston, Texas. Or people who lived near Homestead, Fla., at the time of Andrew. Or ask anyone in Haiti their feelings about the potential impact of tropical storms there.

As Engineering News-Record's Tom Sawyer reported recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecast for the 2010 hurricane season is "especially dire." ENR reported:

For the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70% probability of 14 to 23 named storms with top winds of 39 mph or higher. It predicts the named storms will include eight to 14 hurricanes with top winds of 74 mph or higher, of which three to seven could be major hurricanes of Category 3, 4 or 5 with winds of 111 mph or more.

If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” says Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared."

So, Contractors: With that admonition in mind, are you making special preparations for storm impacts to your job sites this year? If so, how are they different? Or, if you're sticking with your standard preparations, what is involved with those? What's your plan for hurricane season?

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