Are you ready to weather this weekend’s storm?

Hurricane Preparedness: A Checklist for Your Construction Site

When severe weather hits, will your job site be ready? 

Buildings under construction are at high risk of catastrophic damage during a hurricane. Materials and debris can become projectiles, water can easily flood the building structure and expensive equipment may be lost or damaged. 

You need to be prepared. Don’t wait for the last minute to protect your project from an approaching hurricane. Developing an inclement weather policy for your construction sites will keep your team and your work safe in the eye of the storm. 

How to Prepare a Severe Weather Management Plan for your Job Site

Take the following steps and refer to these recommendations by the Canadian Red Cross to write a severe weather plan for your construction site.

1. Prepare Before Severe Weather Strikes

It’s important to have the right gear on hand to secure equipment and cover incomplete structures before a storm comes your way. Make sure each member of your team knows where they’re stored.

Hurricane Preparation Materials and Equipment:

  • Concrete Anchors 
  • Duct Tape
  • Garbage Bags
  • Generators
  • Ground Anchors
  • Fuel
  • Misc. Hardware and Fasteners
  • Netting
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Plywood
  • Pumps
  • Rope
  • Sand Bags
  • Shoring and Bracing
  • Water
  • Wire

Consider keeping hard copies of contact lists, plans and other important documents in a safe place. These documents should include:

  • An emergency evacuation plan.
  • Emergency contact information for employees.
  • List of hurricane preparation materials, equipment and their sources.
  • A contact list of back-up personnel to call if recovery teams are unable to return to work.

2. Monitor the Weather Closely

Designate a team member to keep an eye on the weather once a Tropical Storm Watch is issued. 

  • Check sites like The Weather Network and Environment Canada for the latest severe weather alerts.
  • Invest in a weather radio powered by batteries, solar or a hand crank to receive weather information during power outages.

Environment Canada: Hurricane season runs from June to November each year.

3. Secure Structures and Equipment

Once Environment Canada issues a Hurricane Watch, it’s time to prepare your job site for the storm ahead. 

  • Use rope, sandbags, ground anchors and other items to weigh down materials that could easily fly away. 
  • Cover materials with plastic sheeting, netting or garbage bags to prevent water damage.
  • Stack loose materials together and secure them with rope or duct tape to keep them from dispersing.
  • Complete work on partially completed structures to minimize damage, if time allows.

4. Remove Materials and Equipment When Possible

If you’re able to remove loose materials or expensive equipment, do so immediately after a Hurricane Warning is announced. 

  • Have your construction dumpster picked up or cover the container with a tarp.
  • Remove or tie-down portable bathrooms.
  • Remove hazardous chemicals to prevent them from being released into the environment.
  • Remove materials, tools or equipment that can be damaged by rising water.
  • Move heavy equipment and machinery to a garage or other covered structure.
  • Tear down and store light-weight fence screens and job site signage.
  • Move any portable electronics, job site plans and other important documents from the construction trailer to a safe location offsite.
  • Turn off power to the site and make sure fuel is available for power generators.

Did you know? On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season.

5. Safeguard the Building Structure

Now that you’ve secured or removed materials and equipment, it’s time to defend the structure. Whether you’re working on a renovation or you’re constructing a new building, water can significantly damage the interior.

  • Board up door and window openings.
  • Tarp or board up any other large openings.
  • Place sandbags around the perimeter of the structure as reinforcement.  

6. Evacuate the Work Site

It’s important to have an evacuation plan in place for your construction site. To determine when you need to leave, you should be familiar with the warning terms used for hurricanes.

  • Hurricane/Tropical Storm watches mean that a hurricane or tropical storm is possible in the specified area.
  • Hurricane/Tropical Storm warnings mean that a hurricane or tropical storm is expected to reach the area, typically within 24 hours.

Stay tuned to weather alerts via radio, TV or social media and evacuate as soon as local authorities give the word. Before storm season, learn your community’s emergency plans and the location of nearby shelters so your employees have a safe place to go if they can’t make it home. 

Returning to Your Construction Site After the Storm

7. Carefully Assess Damage 

Once you get the announcement that it’s safe to return to the area, it’s time to assess the damage and start cleaning up. 

  • Be careful when walking in standing water, which may contain sharp or jagged objects.
  • Use caution when entering the building because structural elements may be weakened.
  • Rent a dumpster to safely dispose of materials that were damaged by the storm.

8. Plan to Remove Water

During a hurricane, water will inevitably flood your work site. Removing it is important for the safety of your property and neighbouring structures. Standing water can soften the ground, compromising structural stability.

  • Place pumps in excavations or basements before the storm hits.
  • Have dehumidifiers and fans available to dry out the space.
  • Discharge water to the stormwater system.
  • Have contact information on-hand for a tanker truck to haul away excess water.

Finally, the most important step is to keep your team informed about hurricane precautions. 

    • Discuss your hurricane action plan so your team knows exactly what to do when a storm hits. Ask your crew to read and sign off on the plan.
    • Establish who will take control in the event of a hurricane. This person will put the plan in motion and assign emergency responsibility roles. 
    • Designate two teams – one for hurricane response and the other for hurricane recovery. Whether this is necessary depends on the size of your crew and worksite.

Hurricane preparedness is essential for a safe construction site. We hope this list keeps you and your team out of harm’s way the next time severe weather hits.

CANS Offering FREE Courses on Inclusive Workplaces

Respectful & Inclusive Workplace – FREE Online Course

Successful construction employers in Nova Scotia know that to meet future workforce challenges, they need to recruit from traditionally underrepresented groups (women, Indigenous, newcomers), which means establishing a respectful and inclusive workplace culture that is welcoming to all.

Working in a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace looks at how a respectful and inclusive workplace can benefit everyone by eliminating discrimination and harassment, and how everyone can create respect through inclusive communication, teamwork, and mentorship. The course consists of 8 lessons, for a total duration of about 3 hours of self-paced instruction.

CANS has partnered with Buildforce Canada and the NS Apprenticeship Agency to provide this training to our members FREE of charge (typically a $100 cost).

Contact us today for your free PIN to take advantage of this free course.

Interested in this course? Contact:
Alain Lefebvre
Manager, Workforce Programs, Planning and Strategy
(902) 468-2267 ext 712

Want to maximize your CANS membership?

CANS 101 – Maximize Your Membership Information Session

Date: Sept 24, 2019
Duration: 2 hours
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Member Price: FREE (*lunch will be provided for registered attendees)

Who Should Attend: Anyone who wishes to improve their overall understanding of CANS and the many benefits of membership, from using CANSnet to accessing printing services, customizing training programs and more!

Register by September 20 to attend. For more details, or to register for a CANS 101 session, click here!

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Long-term members!

Without our members, CANS would be nothing, so each year we take some time to honour those members who have supported CANS consistently through the decades.

Each year, CANS recognizes companies that have maintained continuous membership for more than 25 years by presenting them with the Bowman Award. This year we are honouring:

  • Able Electric 2016 Limited
  • Advanced Energy Management Ltd.
  • Asbestos Abatement Ltd.
  • Atlantic Explosives Ltd.
  • Blaine F. MacLane Excavation Ltd.
  • Fundy Electric Limited
  • G.J. Cahill & Co. (1979) Ltd.
  • John Morrison Contracting Ltd.
  • R.D.L. Construction Limited
  • Sansom Equipment Ltd.
  • Techno Hard Surfaces Limited
  • The Guarantee Company of North America
  • Waller Agencies Limited
  • Wickwire Holm
  • W. MacPhail Construction Ltd.

To see our full list all of our Bowman recipients, including previous years, visit: 

CANS Long-term Member award is presented to companies that have held a membership with the Association for 50 years or more, and honours companies who have shown their dedication, support, and commitment to the Association throughout the years and is an achievement to be proud of.
This year we are honouring the following members:

  • Englobe Corp.
  • Gallagher Canada Limited – Nova Scotia
  • South Shore Ready Mix Ltd.
  • Truefoam Limited
  • V.J. Rice Concrete Ltd.

To see a full list of our Long-term Members, visit:

2019 CANS Herc Rentals Softball Tournament Wrap-Up


It was a sunny Saturday for a fun-filled Softball Tournament in Dartmouth!  17 teams enjoyed a day of networking, great pitches, quite a few runs and plenty of fun at the 2019 CANS Herc Rentals Softball Tournament on August 24th at the Mount Edward Road Ball Fields.


A BIG thanks to all our sponsors: Herc Rentals, MacFarlands Industrial, Dexel, Turf Masters Ltd., Black & McDonald Limited, Iron Dog, MNP LLP, Q104, BELFOR, Big Bang Promotional Products, BIRD Construction, Casey Concrete Ltd., Heritage Gas, MCT Insurance a division of BrokerLink, REgroup, Sancton, and Rogers Communications Canada.

Techno Hard Surfaces Limited

Atlantica Mechanical Contractors Limited

The Fun Division Trophy went to Techno Hard Surfaces Limited, with second place going to Bird Stairs (J.W. Bird & Company Limited).  The Competitive Division Trophy went to Atlantica Mechanical Contractors Ltd., with second place going to McCarthy’s Roofing Ltd.  Congratulations to all the winners!


Kids of all ages had fun at The Game Zone this year!  In between games, players, families and spectators bounced in the inflatable fun house, played washer toss, bean bag toss, and many other games from Glow Parties!


Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2019 Softball Tournament! If you attended the tournament, we would love to hear your feedback.  Please visit the online survey:


Catch up on the fun, check out more photos of CANS softball, along with all of our events, here

CCI Updates: working to better meet the needs of members. 

Canadian Construction Innovations (CCI) is working to realign its service offering to better meet the needs of its members.

CCI is committed to helping you adopt innovation within your own firms. In keeping with this commitment, CCI has made strides in the last couple of months, from launching the expanded CONtact Innovator Mentorship program to a funding proposal put before the federal government providing for the placement of nearly 2000 STEM students in the Construction industry.

Some of CCI’s recent accomplishments:
  • Launch of the expanded CONtact Innovator Mentorship program to spark innovation by matching emerging entrepreneurs and innovators with industry experts to fine-tune product offerings whilst providing members with the opportunity to learn about upcoming innovations. For more visit:
  • Currently evaluating competitive proposals to offer Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit service to our members.
  • The revised proposal for funding the placement of 1,700 students (from STEM and multi-disciplinary functions) in the industry has been submitted to the government with funding announcement expected in the fall.
  • A new CCI identity with a new logo was revealed, and a brand-new website is also in the works.
  • Revised an agreement for the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) to provide their services in administrative operations, enabling CCI to focus on leading the innovation agenda and delivering membership value.
CCI continues to work hard for its members. Keep an eye out for more, forthcoming initiatives. In the meantime, for more information on CCI, visit their website:

Early Bird Gets the Worm: Pick Your Complimentary CANS Course


Congratulations! We appreciate your timeliness and care in renewing your CANS membership early. As a special thank you, we are excited to announce that you have won one (1) complimentary seat in one (1) of CANS 2019-2020 Education and Training Development courses. Restrictions may apply, please see the list of eligible courses to choose from below.


Eligible Courses:

  • The Basics: Working in a Commercial Industrial Environment (see details)
  • Construction Estimating – The Art of Estimating (see details)
  • Blueprint Reading – Documents and Specifications (see details)
  • Excel with Excel: Fundamentals (see details)
  • Excel with Excel: Advanced (see details)
  • Using MS Outlook for Time Management (see details)
  • Construction Ethics – In Class (see details, additional dates available)
  • Responding Successfully to a Request for Proposal (RFP) (see details)
  • The Art of Getting it Done! Effective Work Planning for Foremen  (see details)
  • Project Management Fundamentals for the Construction Industry (see details)
  • Project Scheduling and Costing (see details)
  • Project Risk Management (see details)
  • MS Project: Establishing a Project Management Foundation (see details)
  • The Construction Execution Plan (see details)
  • Financial Management for Contractors Program (see details)
  • Leading on the Frontline (see details)
  • Communicating with Confidence (see details)
  • Dealing with Difficult Behaviours (see details)
  • Training and Coaching People to Perform (see details)
  • Building Personal and Team Accountability (see details)


To book your complimentary space, please contact:

Chantal Arsenault
Manager, Education & Training Development
(902) 468-2267 ext. 706


Click here for a full list of Education and Training Development courses offered through CANS. 


Proposed Changes Coming to NS First Aid Regulations: Employer input needed.


Recent changes to CSA first aid standards may change the First Aid Regulations in Nova Scotia and employers are being asked for feedback. The CSA standard is new and being proposed to all Canadian jurisdictions as a national standard. Two examples include the CSA standard will increase the number of first aid kits a workplace is required to have and will establish training requirements. These changes are being considered for implementation in the fall of 2019!

Nova Scotia employers have expressed a continuing interest to provide feedback on proposed OHS regulations and OEA NS Society will be hosting the first of a number of sessions that Labour and Advanced Education (LAE) will be holding across the province to get your input!

If you are unable to attend in person or want to provide more comments stay tuned to LAE webpage for an online portal which will allow you to be a part of the conversation by providing your comments:


Office of the Employer Advisor (OEA NS) Sessions: (LIMITED SPACES)

OEA NS Society Office-
36 Brookshire Court, Suite 14,
Bedford, NS

Monday, July 22, 2019                  1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Friday, July 26, 2019                     9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

To register for one of the OEA NS sessions, please visit our webpage or email


LAE Hosted Sessions:

Truro – Truro Fire Hall Community Room
Tuesday, July 23               9:00 AM to 12:00

Port Hawkesbury – Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre
Wednesday, July 24         9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Halifax – Halifax Central Library
Thursday, July 25               9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Dartmouth – NSCC Akerley Campus
Wednesday, July 30            9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Kentville – NSCC Kingstec Campus
Wednesday, July 31             9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Liverpool – Queens Place Emera Centre
Thursday, August 1              9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Clare – Université Sainte-Anne Campus, Church Point (EN FRANÇAIS)
Wednesday, July 25             5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

CANSTech 2020 – Call for Speakers/Exhibitors

CANSTech 2020

Presented by:

Procore Logo

CANS is currently seeking sponsors and accepting applications for exhibitors and speakers for CANSTech 2020,  February 27, 2020 at the Cunard Centre.


CANS is proud to present CANSTech – Nova Scotia’s Construction Technology and Innovation Tradeshow for the commercial, industrial and institutional construction industry.

We are thrilled to bring back this innovative and experiential conference for a second time as CANSTech 2020. This event is the only conference in Nova Scotia that highlights cutting-edge solutions specifically for the construction industry, as well as provides attendees with opportunities for hands-on experience with leading-edge technologies.

Get the most out of CANSTech 2020, sign up now to be a sponsor, or apply to be an exhibitor or speaker at the event. Your company will be featured throughout promotional materials in the months leading up to the event. Not to mention, you will get the chance to engage with over 1,000 anticipated attendees day-of!


Is your company breaking new ground in the construction industry? Seeing is believing, so we’re seeking exhibitors who will actively engage attendees with quality experiences and hands-on demonstrations. Let us know how you would stand out from the crowd, APPLY NOW to be an exhibitor at CANSTech2020.


Do you have hands-on experience or real-world knowledge about modernizing workflows? We’re looking for speakers who can offer attendees a practical perspective on how to adapt their business in a new, technological landscape. APPLY NOW to be a speaker at CANSTech 2020.


Does your company embrace technological advancements and/or new innovations readily? CANSTech prides itself highlighting new innovations and technologies, so we’re seeking sponsors who will support our mission to keep the construction industry nimble and adaptable to technological growth.

Find out more on sponsoring CANSTech 2020: take a look at our full list of sponsorship opportunities, or REGISTER NOW — no application needed — as a sponsor, contact Natalie Bobbitt, Sponsorship Lead.


For more information on how to participate in CANSTech 2020, contact:

Natalie Bobbitt
Sponsorship Lead
902-468-2267 ext. 718


For more information on CANSTech, or to see photos of the inaugral event visit:

Majority of contractors using offsite construction, survey says

Offsite construction has been an ongoing construction trend for the last several years, but with such a large majority of stakeholders reporting that they are using the technique, as they did in the NIBS survey, it might be time to call it a standard industry practice. Read more.