Your Facility: Weathering Winter Storms
Winter storms can damage your facility and disrupt business. Are you prepared?
A sudden winter storm can result in building damage, business closure and reduced profitability. Plan ahead to reduce the effects of winter weather on your facility and keep your employees safe. Before the next storm strikes, review the following items to make sure you're prepared.
- Inspect your facility and grounds to ensure that everything is secure and in good working order.
- Hire a qualified professional to inspect and clean your heating system.
- Make sure all windows and exterior doors are properly sealed and weatherized.
- Check and clear gutters, downspouts and drainage from the downspouts away from the building.
- Make sure that all emergency systems and exit lighting are in good working order.
- Inspect and test standby generators and other backup power equipment. Keep them in good working condition.
- Check and update your emergency supplies. Include first aid supplies, flashlights and fresh water.
- Have snow removal equipment ready and in good working condition.
- Review and update your emergency plan, including evacuation routes and facility closing procedures.
- Maintain updated contact information for all staff.
- Designate safe areas for building occupants in case of extreme weather.
- Implement a communications tree so all employees can be quickly updated on any storm-related situations.
- Inspect all company vehicles to ensure they're working properly. Maintain them regularly throughout the season.
- Check vehicle fluids, especially anti-freeze, on a regular basis.
- Equip all vehicles with tires that are in good working condition and appropriate for the weather.
- Maintain emergency supplies for all vehicles, including blankets, flashlights, fresh water, flares and booster cables.
When a storm hits
- Allow employees to leave work early during extreme weather to ensure a safe commute.
- If closing, maintain a minimum building temperature of 50u00b0F to keep pipes from freezing.
- Clear snow and ice from sidewalks and parking areas to avoid accidents.
- Secure vital documents, back up data files and move servers to a secure site if necessary.
- Unplug unnecessary equipment and appliances.
- Get weather updates through TV, radio or appropriate mobile apps.
- Use backup generators (if needed) safely according manufacturers guidelines. Don't attempt to connect generators directly to the electrical system in your facility. It can back feed and injure line workers.
By taking these steps, you'll ensure that your employees are safe and your facility is ready for the unexpected.