The onset of winter means the approach of winter storms, and you want your business to be ready for whatever comes. Whether it’s a storm watch or a full-on blizzard, you and workers will need adequate preparation to avoid injury or damage to the business. Snow is a pleasant wintertime sight, but it’s not so welcome when it’s blocking your building or crushing your roof.
These winter preparedness tips will give you some ideas on how to safeguard your company against disaster, even in the worst snowstorms. You and your workers will be able to tackle problems before they arise and fix anything that needs repairs. By the time the snow clears, you’ll be back in business and serving customers as usual.
Inform Employees and Customers
The last thing any employee wants to do is trudge through murky weather only to find out the office is closed. Be sure to send out correspondence detailing the closing and opening dates of your business. Before you do this, establish what kind of weather will be enough to shut down the office for the day. Several inches of snow are standard in the North, and businesses are still likely to be open, but companies in the South might close for a couple of days.
Inform your costumers of your availability, too. Communicate with them through social media, email or another preferred method. If your business has multiple locations, specify which ones will shut down during the storm.
Plan for Snow Removal
Plan for snow removal services before the worst of the snowfall comes down. Those frosty white flakes are going to land everywhere — including your building’s roof, which can prove dangerous if left alone. Too much weight can cause the ceiling to collapse, and you especially don’t want that to happen while people are inside. Ice and snow on the pavements are also dangerous and can be slipping hazards.
Figure out how much weight the roof can hold so you can remove snow before it reaches capacity. A telehandler is the best option for roof cleaning because it reduces the need for you or anyone else to climb the roof yourselves. It’s also size-appropriate for medium parking lots, meaning you don’t have to search to find other solutions for limited space.
Install a Generator
This step is particularly important if you own a business that sells perishable goods. If the power goes out during a snowstorm, you’ll need a backup to keep your products cold until it can cut back on. Without a generator, food spoils and medications get too warm, becoming unusable. You can keep operations running smoothly with a generator if you decide to stay open.
Check your local building codes before purchasing a generator to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Every building can’t use the same kind of generator, and it’s essential to know which will fit your situation. Most backups receive their power from diesel or natural gas — whichever you use depends on your place of business.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Keep your insurance information close. You’ll need this in case of a burst pipe disaster, snow cave-in or other destruction. Take pictures of your inventory and equipment before and after the storm so you’ll have proof of any damages. Preparing for the storm ahead of time is crucial because if they discover the loss happened due to negligence, they might not accept your claim.
Your company should preferably have some insurance for business interruptions, which will happen if you have to shut down due to bad weather or damages. This policy will cover the expenses you usually get from operations until things are up and running again. Be aware of the time limits of these policies, because sometimes it takes longer than anticipated to restart your organization.
Build an Emergency Kit
Emergency kits will become essential in case you and your workers get snowed in. A suitable business kit should include several items:
- Gallons of water for each person.
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Copies of important business records.
- First-aid kit.
- Extra batteries.
- A radio for receiving National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports.
Everyone can also benefit from keeping supplies on hand for their individual needs. These include things like prescriptions, feminine hygiene products, cash and at least one change of clothing.
Train Your Employees
Train your employees on how to deal with the incoming weather, including tips for home and work. Not everyone knows how to prepare for inclement weather, and it helps to give people a hand in figuring out what to do. Workers will need to know what supplies to stock up on and how to keep themselves active and warm throughout the day. Teach everyone to pick up signs of cold stress — such as hypothermia and frostbite — in others.
Schedule regular breaks and have warm areas set up for workers, especially if your business is outdoor-based. Have plenty of warm drinks on hand, but forgo the alcohol — this can lower one’s body temperature.
Enjoy the Cold Season Without the Stress
Winterize your business operations and stay afloat even after the flurries come in. You can return to your regular schedule with greater peace of mind knowing you took proper precautions to avoid damage. Make this season a jolly and stress-free time by staying ahead of the game.