What to do Before a Winter Weather Event
Numerous businesses can’t afford to lose revenue over winter, making it crucial to take proactive measures to minimize business disruption. Ideally, most businesses should consider temporary closures during severe winter events. However, certain businesses may need to remain operational, and some employees could find themselves stranded.
When severe winter weather is forecast, complete these last-minute actions, if time allows, to keep employees safe and your facility prepared.
Winter Ready Business Checklist
A checklist to make last minute prep before severe winter weather hits and to recover quickly after the event.
STAY INFORMED & ACTIVATE PLAN
1. Monitor the weather and activate your plan
- Find a reliable source for severe weather information. Follow the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Prediction Center (WPC) on Facebook or X, and your local NWS office. Tune in to local news often when winter weather is forecast.
- Enable wireless emergency alerts on your cell phone. What to listen for:
- Winter Storm Warning, Blizzard Warning, Wind Chill Temperature
- A WATCH means be prepared.
- A WARNING means take action.
- Activate your winter plan. Communicate the emergency preparedness plan to all employees in advance of severe weather.
PREPARE YOUR FACILITY
2) Prevent pipes from freezing
- Set the building’s internal thermostat to a minimum of 55°F (12.8°C).
- For small commercial properties
- Open cabinet doors where piping is present, especially when pipes are adjacent to an exterior wall.
- Let all faucets drip during extreme cold weather.
3) Turn on self-regulating roof heating cables
- If you have an ice dam prevention system, turn it on before the snow begins to fall.
4) Confirm services with pre-scheduled contractors
- Confirm availability of the snow removal service.
- Confirm delivery of rented portable generator.
- Arrange for alternate security if the alarm system loses power while the building cannot be occupied.
5) Ensure you have plenty of supplies onsite, such as...
- Fuel for generators or snowblowers.
- Snow removal equipment.
- De-icing products for walkways and parking lots.
- Blankets, in case employees get stranded.
DURING THE WINTER EVENT
6) Continue to monitor conditions and stay connected
- Update status of operations.
- Employees: Emergency hotlines/email/intranet
- Customers: Website/social media/phone calls
- Designate times for key staff members to dial into or join online meetings for situation overviews.