Emergency Projects

In case of emergencies caused by fire, water, or wind/tornadoes, what steps should state agencies, public universities, and K-12 schools follow?
  1. Address the immediate crisis.
  2. Call the insurance carrier.
  3. Declare an emergency.
  4. Secure the services of an architect or engineer.
  5. Solicit at least three contractors’ proposals.

Step 1: Address the Immediate Crisis

Property owners may contact a licensed and insured contractor without advertisement for bids (a written quote must still be secured) only to address the immediate crisis which typically involves sealing the building, drying it out and securing the area. This work is limited to stopping damage to assets and securing the area for the health and safety of the public. Owners may authorize such work through a Purchase Order/Priority Authorization (in which case the policies and procedures established by the Alabama Department of Finance-Division of Purchasing must be followed) or other contracting means available to the owner.

Step 2: Call the Insurance Carrier

After contacting a contractor to address the immediate crisis, promptly call the owner's insurance carrier. If the carrier is the Alabama Division of Risk Management (DRM), call 334-223-6146 to report a property claim, and include the DRM claim # on O/A Agreements and B-1 transmittals.

Step 3: Declare an Emergency

  • All owner entities except ACCS: Regardless of the declaration method, the Division of Construction Management (DCM) must be informed of a Declaration of Emergency as soon as possible in order for DCM to correctly administer a declared emergency project.
  • K-12 public schools: The local Board of Education’s Declaration of Emergency, such as Board meeting minutes, must be sent to DCM Director Frank Barnes at frank.barnes@realproperty.alabama.gov.
  • Owners except K-12: First determine which of the following Sections of the Code of Alabama, 1975, as amended, is applicable to the emergency: Sections 29-2-41.1, 39-2-2(e), 41-16-23 and/or 41-16-72(6). Each Section is defined on page 2 of the Declaration of Emergency letter template - updated August 2021. The letter template and procedures meet Code of Alabama requirements. Declare an emergency by sending a letter to the Governor’s Office and emailing a copy of the letter to DCM Director Frank Barnes at frank.barnes@realproperty.alabama.gov. The letter must be addressed to the Governor, and to the Attorney General if Section 41-16-72(6) is applicable, must reference the applicable Sections of the Code of Alabama, must briefly describe the emergency affecting any of the following applicable basis: public health, safety, security, convenience involved in delay and/or economic welfare of the State, must note the intent to secure a design professional, or note the name of the Architectural/Engineering firm if one has already been selected, must note the intent to solicit construction proposals for repair and/or replacement, and must include the Governor's Approval signature space.

Step 4: Secure the Services of an Architect or Engineer

An emergency declaration allows owners to legally secure the services of an Architect or Engineer (design professional) without a request for qualifications. The design professional will assess the site, recommend any actions to prevent further damage and may also issue plans and specifications to repair damaged areas and replace equipment. Such services require the issuance of an Agreement Between Owner and Architect (O/A Agreement) for the design professional to be paid. The agreement must be limited to addressing the immediate crisis, and repair and/or replacement work in order to meet the emergency and cannot go beyond the scope of such work. The Owner's Declaration of Emergency must be attached to the O/A Agreement. O/A Agreements for fully locally-funded K-12 emergency projects must be submitted to the State Department of Education (SDE) State School Architect’s office for review. O/A Agreements for State Agencies and PSCA-funded emergency projects (except for ACCS projects) must be submitted to DCM for review.

The following additional terms are applicable only to state agencies whose professional services contracts are reviewed by Contract Review Permanent Legislative Oversight Committee:

  • If the emergency is based on public health or safety, a contract may be let for the time period necessary to alleviate the emergency without Legislative Oversight Committee review.
  • Contracts based upon economic welfare emergencies that last 60 days or less do not require Legislative Oversight Committee review.
  • Contracts based upon economic welfare emergencies lasting more than 60 days must be reviewed by Legislative Oversight Committee.
  • Emergency contracts based on “convenience” may be let for the time period necessary to alleviate the emergency but must be reviewed by Legislative Oversight Committee regardless of the duration of the contract.

Note: Any construction which affects code compliance beyond addressing the immediate crisis requires plans and specifications to be issued by a duly licensed Architect or Engineer; such plans and specifications must be submitted to DCM for plan review.

Step 5: Solicit at Least Three Contractors’ Proposals

An emergency declaration allows owners and design professionals to legally solicit proposals from at least three different contractors for any repair and/or replacement work, without advertisement for bid. When bids are solicited without advertisement, include the Owner’s Declaration of Emergency and an Invitation to Bid (see DCM Form C-1A: Sample Invitation To Bid) instead of the Advertisement For Bids in any project manual. Documentation must show a minimum of three proposals were sought even if a lesser number respond; a tabulation of bids must be issued. Repair and/or replacement work requires the issuance of a construction contract for a contractor to be paid. Designers shall attach the bid tab and the Owner's Declaration of Emergency to the prepared construction contract documents. Contracts for state agencies and PSCA-funded emergency projects (except for ACCS projects) must be submitted to DCM for review. Contracts for fully locally-funded K-12 emergency projects must be submitted to the SDE School Architect’s office for review. The contract must be limited to repair and/or replacement work in order to meet the emergency and cannot go beyond the scope of such work.

Additional Information

  • When a declared-emergency project is within DCM's jurisdiction the only exceptions to normal project requirements are the request for qualifications of design professionals and the advertisement for bids. All other project requirements in the DCM Manual of Procedures must be met; for example, if a declared emergency project is over $50,000.00, sealed proposals are required and must be publicly opened and read.
  • All repair and/or replacement plans and specifications with code compliance items for state agencies, PSCA-funded projects (except for ACCS non-storm shelter related projects starting on or after August 1, 2021) and all public and private K-12 projects are submitted to DCM for plan review which requires payment of plan review fees. O/A Agreements and contracts for state agencies and PSCA-funded projects (except for ACCS non-storm shelter related projects starting on or after August 1, 2021) are submitted to DCM for review which requires payment of contract document administration fees. Repair and/or replacement work for state agencies, PSCA-funded projects (except for ACCS non-storm shelter related projects starting on or after August 1, 2021) and locally-funded K-12 projects requires a DCM Inspector-facilitated pre-construction conference, and the construction is inspected by DCM Inspectors; such services require payment of the permit fee. See DCM Manual of Procedures, Forms and User Fees.
  • A Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption for a Government Entity Project administered by the Alabama Department of Revenue must be acquired separately by the Owner, General Contractor and Subcontractors per Act 2013-205 for each government entity owned project. The only projects under DCM's jurisdiction to which this does not apply are privately owned hotels/motels and movie theaters.
  • For further guidance see Code of Alabama, 1975, as amended, Sections 29-2-41.1, 39-2-2(e), 41-16-23, and 41-16-72(6), and/or contact DCM staff.