If you’re a business owner, especially a small business owner, your business is your livelihood. You’ve worked hard to keep it going even during the uncertainty of recent years. While nothing can prepare you for a global pandemic, seasonal preparedness is something you can control.
A winter storm can be a minor nuisance or a serious threat, depending significantly on how much you prepare. Follow these tips to prepare your business for a winter storm emergency.
Preparing Your Employees
No matter what:
- Encourage your employees to keep updated on weather conditions using weather apps, websites, and radio updates.
- Double-check that your employees have essential contact information saved on their phones as well as written down.
- Discuss your business’s winter storm plan and winter emergency policies with all employees as part of onboarding or schedule a group training before cold weather sets in.
- Keep snow management gear such as shovels and snow blowers on your premises in several different locations.
- Ensure all fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your building are functioning in case of an electrical problem or HVAC breakdown. This is a simple step, but it’s one of the most important on the list.
If you plan to continue business operations during or immediately after a winter storm:
- Give your employees extra travel time. Roads covered in snow and ice are treacherous.
- Bring or purchase several power banks or other charging solutions for your employees and yourself so you can continue communications during power outages.
- If you are one of the many small businesses that rely on a cash register, consider keeping extra funds as well as change in your drawers in anticipation of a power outage that prevents credit/debit card payments.
- If extreme cold weather is in the forecast, add extra heating elements to your building, such as space heaters or fan heaters.
- Store important documents in a secure place protected from water or other elements.
- Keep the contact information of your building’s service providers (plumbers, HVAC technicians, electricians, building owners, etc.) readily available, as well as any other important business contacts you might have to get in touch with.
- Check your insurance coverage. Make sure any winter storm damages are covered in your policy before you realize you missed something.
- Develop and practice a Business Continuity Plan, which is essentially a multi-scenario crisis management plan for different problems your business might encounter. Make sure winter storms are included in the plan, and think through the steps you might take.
Preparing Your Property
- Winterize your building or schedule winterization professionally before the threat of winter storms.
- Store computers or other sensitive electronics in a secure location protected from the extreme cold.
- Consider purchasing or renting a generator to keep your building running; winter weather can cause multi-hour or even multi-day power outages.
- Schedule deicing services — in Philadelphia, you probably already know that ice can lead to slippery parking lots and walkways, causing potential hazards to people and automobiles. Both snow and freezing rain can lead to ice, so don’t skip deicing just because there aren’t any flurries coming down.
- Schedule snow management services. Our snow management services in Philadelphia, PA, will help get your business cleared of snow as soon as possible.
This is far from an exhaustive winter storm preparedness plan, but it’s an important start. Taking these steps will not only help prepare you for winter weather but help protect the business you’ve worked so hard to create and the employees you’ve worked so hard to train.
Need a reliable partner for snow management or deicing services? When snow blankets Philly this winter, contact DMC Commercial Snow Management, and we can help your business get back on its feet. Call ahead of time and make sure you’ll be taken care of this year!