How to Best Prepare your Commercial Property for Severe Winter Weather Events

When severe winter weather is in the forecast, both snow & ice management contractors and property owners/managers need to be on the same page in order to reduce potential risk and liability.

Prolonged freezing rain events, or two-day “blizzards” with crippling wind and snowfall amounts, can prove costly in both human terms and financial costs. In either case, the damage can be as severe as the weather itself.

Crucial Steps

Awareness and the cooperative exchange of planning information are two of the most crucial steps required for snow contractors and property owners/managers to literally “weather the storm” successfully.

Communication

When these types of severe weather events are expected, MPS Property Services will provide our customers with an e-mail communication detailing both an assessment of the incoming weather and our operational plan to effectively manage the storm. Information such as the expected timing of the “event” and our operational response(s) are vital for minimizing any potential property damage, slip & fall or productivity risks. By providing our clients with this advance information, we hope to improve their knowledge of “snow fighting” strategies and help manage their expectations over the course of the storm.

Best Practices for Property Owners & Managers

We also hope to assist property owners & managers in communicating some best practices for dealing with severe weather, with their “people” on-site, ahead of the storm event.
This can include:

  • Posting information, or using other means to notify employees, customers, visitors and any other workplace parties of the impending severe weather system, its probable timing, and how the property will be affected during the storm
  • Providing information about what proper clothing to wear throughout the storm, such as treaded footwear, to reduce slip & fall risk
  • Blocking off snow depot areas, or adjusting parking allocation so that plow vehicles have room to move & place snow during daytime plowing operations
  • Having any appropriate staff work from home if possible to reduce the amount of traffic impeding snow response teams both on-site and on the public roadways
  • Coordinating with MPS in advance to schedule the removal of any expected excess snow to recover lost parking or shipping areas as fast as possible
  • Coordinating with MPS to ensure that any on-site salt bins, etc. are fully stocked and ready for use by building personnel as needed
  • Understanding that site conditions may be hazardous at times throughout the severe weather event but will be cleaned up and made safe quickly after the system has moved on

Severe winter weather can be extremely frustrating, dangerous and difficult to manage. By having the snow & ice management contractor and the property owner/manager communicate effectively ahead of the storm, throughout its duration, and immediately after it has moved on, the destructive impacts on personal well-being, property damage and business continuity can be minimized. Informational awareness and planning truly are the first important step in successfully managing severe winter weather events.

 

Choosing the right Snow & Ice Management company to provide winter service for your property is often a difficult choice to make. After all, no two companies are created equally! Find out the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of commercial winter contracts HERE 

– Ken Jorgenson

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