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JIS News

Executive Director of the Construction Resource and Development Centre (CRDC), Carmen Griffiths, wants Jamaicans, especially female heads of households, to acquire the requisite knowledge, to ensure that their houses are constructed to resist natural disasters, such as hurricanes.
In this regard, she said the CRDC has produced the ‘Safe Roof Booklet’, used all over Jamaica as the guide to safe roof construction. The booklet introduces stakeholders, including house owners and builders, to safe roof construction and retrofitting, and lists and describes the materials required to perform this activity.
“Tropical Storm Gustav has taken us back to looking again at how we can strengthen the capabilities of our local builders and recipients, who will be part of this programme,” she said.
Miss Griffiths was speaking at a JIS (Jamaica Information Service) Think Tank session, which served to introduce the ODPEM Safe House public education programme.
Among the interventions which householders need to implement in order to safeguard a roof against the ravages of a hurricane, as listed by the ODPEM’s Tropical Storm Project are:
. Increase the number of zinc nails or screws used to hold down zinc sheeting;
. Make sure that laths on the roof are not more than 75 centimetres (30 inches) apart;
. Neaten up the edge of the zinc sheeting, as this is where the roof starts to come apart in a hurricane, and use extra nails where the roof overhangs the walls;
. Use one twisted hurricane strap to hold down each rafter where it passes the wall plate, and make sure not to miss the ones at the corners of the building;
. If your wall plate is held down by bent wall steel, has joints or is affected by rot or termites, make sure to strap it down to the wall over the top. Bent wall steel alone cannot keep your roof in place when affected by the force of hurricane winds;
. Fit collar tiles between every other pair of rafters to hold together the two sides of the roof, to protect it from the force of the wind which will try to separate the two halves.
Miss Griffiths told JIS News that the Safe Roof Booklet produced by the CRDC was recently reprinted by the Construction Industry Council (CIC), whose membership includes the Incorporated Master Builders Association, the Jamaica Institution of Engineers, Jamaican Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Jamaican Institute of Architects and the Land Surveyors Association of Jamaica.

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