Preparing for Inclement Weather, Winter 2014

As we near the end of fall 2014, many areas of the United States have already begun to feel the effects of weather changes and increased precipitation. Through November and into December, these changes become more pronounced, with most of the US experiencing a shift toward snow and ice storms. Writing for, Killian MacMath provides 3 insights that can help business owners prepare for the winter shopping season— a season known to be the fastest, busiest, and most dangerous time of the year.

More Snow for Northeast & Mid-Atlantic

Winer 2014-15 will see frigid low temperatures, similar to last year. The worst of the cold weather is expected to take hold in January, worsening through Februaruy and March. Regions may see higher than normal snowfall, however.

“Places like Harrisburg, down to Hagerstown getting into the mountains, Appalachians, I think that’s where you’re going to see your bigger, heavier amounts,” says Paul Pastelok, Expert Long-Range Forecaster at

Rain, Snow, & Ice Threaten Southeast

In the Southeast, a looming triple threat of rain, snow, and ice is painting a gloomy picture for winter 2014. “I’m very concerned about the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf Coast as far as extremes go this year,” Pastelok explains.

Overall, the region seems to be on pace for a very wet winter. According to weather experts, flooding is also a high risk, depending on how storms form and spread this year.

Midwest to Experience Extreme Cold

In the Midwest, business owners can breath a sigh of relief. According to, states in and around the Ohio Valley are likely to experience a drier winter with less snowfall. Temperatures are expected to fall toward frigid levels, however, just like last year.

Taking Action

Take action to prepare for the challenges of operating in winter. Below are a few essential safety tips:

Review and improve existing safety plans. This might include existing snow management plans, employee safety protocols, and other established guidelines to keep employees and customers safe during winter months.

Effectively manage crowds. Follow this list of 10 safety tips for the holiday shopping season.

Monitor and improve entryways. Stay vigilant in checking all major points of entry and exit to ensure the right products and cleaning protocols are in place to keep the areas free and clear of snow, ice, and other debris.

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