Businesses in the Midwest and Northeast corridors are familiar with winter storms. But in 2021, pipes froze in Texas, and in 2019, snow fell in Las Vegas. Wherever your company is located, it’s become clear that you should learn about preparing your business for winter storms.
Prepare the Premises
Stock up on environmentally responsible ice-melt supplies. Make sure you have absorbent floor mats available to lay out to prevent snow, ice, and mud from tracking into your lobby and around your offices.
Take care of roof repairs long before you get notice of winter storm warnings. Seal drafty windows. Prepare a continuity plan in the event of a power outage: how will you continue to run your business and serve your customers with no power?
Stock up on water and food in case your team is stuck at your location for several hours. Investigate emergency backup systems. Be extremely cautious with gas-powered generators, which must only be used outdoors, well away from any ventilation systems that might draw in the toxic fumes. Keep a supply of batteries and flashlights, and test all emergency lighting. Service your HVAC system and make sure it is ready to provide heat during cold snaps. Insulate pipes that extend to the outdoors.
Designate who will be responsible for alerting employees if they shouldn’t come in, or if they should be released from work early to ensure safety. Train all employees on what to do if your business suffers an emergency, such as a roof in danger of collapse due to heavy snowfall.
Don’t Forget About Wind
High winds that accompany winter storms can do a lot of damage. Check your outdoor signage for wind tolerances, and take steps to reinforce them if necessary.
Getting ready for a winter storm at your business is much like preparing your home for the change of season. The difference is that you’ll have more people and property to protect. For more information on winter storm emergency preparedness, visit the FEMA website and share the link with your employees.