The NOVA area has had its share of extreme winter weather over the past few years and considering the word “SNOW” was used in November’s weather forecast, now is a good time to start planning for winter weather conditions.
Extended periods of freezing temperatures or heavy snow accumulations put businesses at risk of winter weather damage. Winter weather can cause a variety of issues for business owners, ranging from water leaks, pipes bursting and roof collapses (right: Verizon building roof collapse due to snow in NJ in 2013). Lower temperatures also increase the risk of fire dangers associated with the use of heating devices.
So before the terms “Polar Vortex” or “Snowmaggedon” are used in the forecast, assess your risks!
Assessing your company’s building and servicing systems can prevent possible storm damage. Think ahead and follow these 8 simple steps to be prepared and potentially prevent winter weather damage:
- Service the heating system
- Detect areas in your building that are difficult to heat or that lose heat rapidly and install thermometers for temperature monitoring during cold spells
- Identify equipment and piping that contain or use water or liquid and could be subject to freezing; they will need to be drained if electricity is lost
- Determine any equipment or processes that are dependent on heat or electricity and would need prompt attention
- Inspect and maintain the building structure
- Be sure windows and doors shut tightly
- Caulk, insulate and weather-strip as needed
- Close and seal unneeded dampers, louvers and vents
- Clean out gutters
- Disconnect and drain all outside hoses
- Shut off outside water valves
- Prepare any equipment that is vulnerable to freezing by:
- Draining and securing all equipment
- Draining condensate frequently
- Protecting it with suitable anti-freeze
- Your company should also consider creating a Weather Communications Plan
- Designate an employee to monitor the weather forecast
- Establish policies for early closure or delayed opening. Make sure all employees are aware of the policies and know where to obtain the information
- Create an email alert system and include employees, customers and vendors. If your company uses Social Media Platforms, weather related news could be published there as well
- Consider a Telework Policy
- It is also recommended that your company review its Business Insurance Coverage
Taking preventative measures will keep your paperwork, office furniture, records, electronics and other business operations intact!
McLean Insurance’s highly experienced agents are happy to work with you to evaluate and address your company’s unique operational characteristics and risks-and help you put the best insurance protection in place at the best value.
To learn more please visit: http://www.mcleaninsurance.com/services/corporate-insurance/