Winter storms are a fact of life for many parts of the country. While they can bring beautiful snowfall and winter activities, they also have risks that must be managed. Facility managers must be aware of the possible effects of winter storms on their facilities to be prepared to deal with any issues that may arise. Let’s take a look at five common effects of winter storms and how facility managers can mitigate them.
Winter storms can present many safety risks to facility managers and businesses alike. One of the most common risks is the danger of slip-and-fall accidents due to slick surfaces both indoors and outdoors caused by snow and ice.
Taking proactive steps like using deicing agents on entryways, reminding visitors and staff to wear the appropriate footwear, and putting up warning signs on snowy or icy areas can help mitigate this risk. It is important for businesses to assess their premises regularly during winter weather events and take measures to ensure a safe environment for visitors and employees.
Access to Business Critical Areas
Winter storms can have immense impacts on business facilities, beyond the obvious issue of snow and ice buildup. It is essential that facility management teams are proactively assessing and maintaining access to all areas of a property that could be considered ‘business critical’.
Winterizing these places may require additional layers of weather proofing, or special measures such as heating, for instance for loading docks or emergency exit doors. Additionally, inspections should be conducted around all security buildings, stand by generator pads, fire hydrants, emergency call boxes and cross walks to ensure any deterioration has been addressed. Ultimately, the goal is to maintain safe access across the entirety of a business facility throughout winter storms.
Winter storms are often unpredictable and can bring heavy snowfall. This can lead not only to hazardous driving conditions, but also power outages. As a facility manager, it is important to be prepared for these situations – making investments in technologies such as backup generator systems and surge protection systems will ensure that essential systems like HVAC and security systems remain on during winter storms.
Emergency lighting should also be considered should you experience an unexpected power outage, so that those in the facility have an alternate source of light until the power is restored. Winter storms are an undoubtedly complicated phenomenon, but managing them doesn’t have to be with the right equipment and preparations.