Every Wisconsin business owner knows how tough it can be to deal with winter storms and blizzards. Every year they seem to get worse, and in 2019 the weather was so bad that the demand for salt skyrocketed and caused a supply shortage.
It all goes to show how important preparation is, from stocking up on salt if you’re a business with lots of outdoor space, to having a professional snow contractor at the ready to help you when the bad weather comes.
If you want to avoid much of the chaos that comes with winter storms, ensure your employees, colleagues, and clients can park in your parking lot and safely walk to your buildings, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare yourself.
Prepare Your Team
Your business isn’t prepared unless your team is prepared. Communication with your employees and colleagues is essential as you prepare for the winter weather. Your plans to clear parking lots, driveways and entryways should be communicated with team members, and they should also be familiar with your contingency plans.
Here are some general rules to follow to keep your team informed:
- Put in place emergency communication plans and contingency plans, and ensure your team is familiar with them.
- Ensure the team is familiar with the key terms used by the National Weather Service, including “advisories,” “watches,” and “warnings.”
- Ensure the team is aware that a professional snow removal company will be handling the entryway clearing so that they do not risk hurting themselves by doing it themselves.
- Prepare your team for the possibility of accidents and incidents relating to the weather, ranging from vehicle accidents to prolonged exposure to the cold.
Communicate With Your Customers
Not only should you communicate with your team, but it’s important to keep in touch with your customers and let them know about the weather and how it may affect their shopping experience.
Consider the following:
- Send an email to customers letting them know of disruption, but reminding them that your snow removal team will be working on it.
- Put an update on your website or social media.
- Record a voicemail message on your phone line to remind people of weather conditions and let them know you’re still open.
Perform An Outdoor Risk Check
The best way to prepare for winter storms and blizzards is to understand the potential problems you’ll be faced with. If you’ve been in your property for some years already you may know where the most dangerous areas are outside, from slanted paving stones to cracks in the ground that get worse every winter.
If you’re not sure what to expect, visually inspect your outdoor space. Look for cracks that could get worse as water freezes and thaws, find areas that may become particularly icy as a result of exposure to water, and take note. Make repairs where possible, or at least be sure to remember those spaces so that they can be treated properly with deicing products, salt, and even sand.
Perform the following checks regularly:
- Check for cracks in the plumbing pipes
- Look for cracks or broken seals around your windows and doors
- Ensure there is no debris clogging your drains
- Check your roof for leaks
- Ensure there are no weak parts of the roof that may collapse under the weight of snow
Consider Buying a Generator
Remember that preparing for winter storm power outages is essential for any business. Without power, you simply can’t stay open.
Perhaps the best thing you can do to prepare for this possibility is to purchase a generator. That way, you can ensure that your doors stay open, you can keep your customers and employees warm, and that you won’t lose out on valuable winter and holiday trade.
Check Your Inventory
Finally, when it comes to storm preparation, always check your inventory.
When the winter storms come and logistics are impacted, you may find yourself short of essential goods and products. Whether these are products you’re preparing to sell or products you need to make your work-life possible, it’s always wise to stock up when you can and ensure that you always have additional inventory.
Practice Snow Clearing Safety
As part of your outdoor risk check, be sure to remedy any parts of the ground that are uneven. Snow removal is made much easier when the ground is smooth. Potholes and cracks don’t just harbor ice and snow, making it dangerous for people walking, but can also cause problems for snow plows.
Smooth surfaces mean snowplows work more efficiently and help avoid any potential problems on blustery winter days.
You should also become familiar with safe practice when it comes to snow plowing, knowing what each deicing product does and how to spot ice outdoors. Need advice? Just speak to local experts, like Earth Development, for some great tips and tips…and even arrange an assessment of your property in preparation for the winter! The key here is safety, and good preparation helps you keep on top of it.
Hiring Professional Snow Plows
It might be tempting to think that you can remove snow yourself and lay salt manually on your outdoor surfaces, but by the time the winter storm hits you soon realize how difficult it can be. Not only does deicing outdoor surfaces yourself put you in the difficult position of being potentially liable if someone slips on a surface that isn’t properly deiced, but it is time-consuming and difficult!
Hiring professional contractors with snow plows and a range of other equipment makes the whole process much easier, and ensures your colleagues and customers are safe when walking around or driving on your property.
Not only that, but professional contractors can offer preventative services that reduce the impact of snow and ice to begin with – meaning you won’t have the mad panic of treating solid ice and removing huge quantities of snow early in the morning during a storm.
Snow Removal Experts On Your Doorstep
Bad weather shouldn’t cost you time, money, or business. That’s why our team at Earth Development works with you to develop a treatment and maintenance plan that ensures your property is well-equipped and ready for snowfall.
For more information about our services, or to arrange an assessment at your property, give us a call today or get in touch online! We offer no-obligation free quotes and our team is always happy to answer any questions you have.