Don't over complicate storm protection plans

Lock down: minimising storm damage is about good planning. Credit: Chuck Simmins Lock down: minimising storm damage is about good planning. Credit: Chuck Simmins
Industry Database

Windstorms can be very damaging and very difficult to predict; they are also quite difficult to deal with.

Modern infrastructure is very expensive, with a ship-to-shore crane costing around $9m – not necessarily in the steel, but rather in the complex equipment that controls the crane.

“As a result, storm damage is one of those issues that people need to be more aware of. A lot of it is about good planning and having good procedures in place. Get those right and there are direct benefits for ports,” says JLT Speciality's Andrew Webster. Put simply, surviving a major storm is all about ensuring that equipment is tied down correctly.

If tie down points are full of rubbish and have to be cleared just as the storm is about to hit then vital time can be wasted. If they are kept clear, then tying down is both easier and faster. However, it is surprising how this simple solution is ignored. Tie down points also have to be adequate for the wind conditions in any given area. The engineering, too, has to be very easy to use and substantial in nature.

“It's worth thinking about how the tie down will work in conjunction with the crane and infrastructure built around it,” says Mr Webster.

He notes that some installations have highly complex plans governing what to do when faced with a major storm, but these can be over-thought and too complicated, ending up being utterly pointless.

“It's better to do something very simple and quick, which ends up saving you a lot of money. I'm a great advocate of keeping things as simple as possible,” he says.


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