With winter a couple of months away, businesses should make the necessary preparations in case a winter storm passes their location. These storms bring heavy snow, wind, sleet, and ice that cause power outages.
They will also cause road closures, which will prevent some employees from going to work. If the storm is strong enough, it will even cause property damage and endanger the lives of employees in the office. So, businesses should make the necessary preparations long before the cold season arrives. Here are the things that businesses should do to prepare for winter storms.
Prepare the Office Buildings
The first thing that businesses should do is to prepare their office buildings, especially if they have a standalone building without any other building close to them. They should seal all openings in the building using insulation and caulking to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping.
They should also make sure that the heating system in the office is working. Even though carbon monoxide detectors are required mainly for residential buildings, if the office building has one, business owners should check if they are functional.
Protecting office equipment vulnerable to freezing temperatures is also important. So, business owners should make plans to ensure they do not get damaged when the cold weather arrives. Checking the roof is also essential to prevent water from entering the building. The business owner should make sure there are no missing or loose shingles on the roof. They should also know the snow load capability of the roof to prevent it from getting damaged during heavy snowfall.
If necessary, businesses should get in touch with a roofing professional to check the roof and make the necessary repairs before a winter storm arrives. They should also check the roof drains and make sure they are clear and open.
If the office location has large trees on its premises, it’s important to check the stability and strength of the trees. To ensure the trees can withstand a winter storm, businesses should work with companies that offer tree care services. These companies have the tools, equipment, and experience to check if the trees have pests infecting them. Aside from protecting the trees, they also trim any branches that pose a threat to office buildings.
Monitor the Weather
Monitoring the weather is also important, especially if the business is located in an area where winter storms occur most often. Business owners should also download software that provides alerts of winter weather in their locality. If they know that a severe winter storm is coming, business owners will have enough time to prepare their offices and employees. It also allows businesses to adjust their operations to reduce the effects of the storm.
Prepare the Employees
Aside from their properties, businesses should also implement measures to protect their employees. Businesses should close the office early if a winter storm is approaching to give them time to go home safely. This also allows their employees to secure their homes from the incoming storm.
If the storm hits during non-business hours, business owners should check if driving to work is risky. In this situation, business owners should consider allowing them to work from home if it’s possible. After a storm, ice and snow will accumulate around the office. Due to this, businesses should make sure to spread deicer in the area to prevent slips and falls when the employees report for work.
Providing footwear with good insulation and traction helps protect employees from getting injured when they go to work after a winter storm. The business should also contact professionals to clear the roof as soon as possible. But they should make sure that the snow removal process does not endanger employees who are working on site.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Businesses should also prepare a disaster supply kit in the office in case a storm hits while the employees are still at work. Aside from the regular disaster supply kit, businesses should ad rock salt, sand, and snow shovels to the kit. Rock salt can melt ice on the driveways while sand improves traction.
Installing a generator in the office also allows the office to continue operating even when there is a power outage. It allows small businesses to continue using their electronic equipment and keep their lights on. A generator also reduces the risk of property damage due to freezing temperatures. But business owners should also make sure that the generator does not fill the office with carbon monoxide when they use it.
Preparing businesses for winter storms is essential to ensure they do not have a significant effect on business operations when they happen.