A massive snowstorm blanketed the Eastern Seaboard over the weekend, showering more than 3 feet of snow in some areas. This time lapse of Washington D.C. during the storm shows the extent to which this enormous blizzard caused a standstill in our nation’s capital. In the wake of the weekend’s massive snowstorm, businesses along the Eastern seaboard are now preparing for “business as usual” this week.
Review the tips below when returning to work this week. This is not an inclusive list, but rather a jumping point for businesses that wish to get back to business quickly and effectively.
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1. Check the pipes
One of the biggest causes of post-storm damage is a frozen or busted pipe. Busted pipes spew water everywhere, flooding basements and utility rooms until the water line is shut off. Run your faucets to proactively check for this scenario, taking notice when water flow is cut down to only a trickle (a telltale sign of a frozen pipe).
2. Clear the snow
Clear the snow and ice from all major points of entry. This includes parking lots and sidewalks that reside on your property. This should be done before the start of business, as well as throughout the day. The goal is to always keep pedestrian walkways and access points in a dry and safe condition. Utilize sidewalk salt as needed, however be careful not to use too much (see below).
3. Lay down some salt
Here’s a fun fact: Sidewalk salt does not melt snow with heat. Instead, it lowers the freezing point of the water molecules in the snow, causing it to come apart and dissipate as liquid water. Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Too much sidewalk salt can cause accidents. Although it’s great at clearing tough sheets of ice and snow, excessive salt can cause a slip and fall accident for which you may be liable.
4. Invest in a generator
A back-up generator is a great way to ensure a steady supply of power. If you do not already have a back-up generator, invest in one now so it is available in the future. Be sure to store the generator in a cool and dry place, ideally located above or away from main water lines and pipes.
5. Monitor local news online
Local news outlets are your best source of information regarding storms and safety. Monitor these news sources online, since stories and updates are sometimes posted digitally before airing on television or radio. You may also want to check the news’ outlets Twitter pages for updates regarding storms, road closures, and more.
6. Debrief with your team
Finally, debrief with your team as the days pass. Meet with employees to discuss the ways your business was prepared for the storm, and other ways you may have fallen short. Was information obtained and disseminated quickly and effectively? Take an honest assessment and make plans to improve before the next storm strikes.