It’s already December and we have begun to see winter weather conditions in various parts of the country. With the ensuing El Nino pattern threatening throughout the winter season, it is not too early to start thinking of winterizing your business.
Below are some survival tips to help limit your exposure and mitigate the losses caused by severe weather by planning ahead:
Assess the Risk –
- Review your coverage: Standard commercial property insurance will cover most of the damage resulting from a freeze or snow and ice damage. It may not cover flooding caused by a backup in sewers or drains or business interruption caused by the wait time for repairs to be completed.
- Review and prioritize core functions so that the most important equipment is protected or is the first to be repaired. Calculate the cost for a period of inactivity.
- Ensure that site drawings and plans are up to date and that you are aware of any structural weaknesses.
- Keep updated on sudden changes in the weather using both local and national resources (such as the NOAA’s Storm Watch).
At The Armstrong Company we have a partnership with BELFOR, the nation’s leader in property restoration, to ensure our customers’ peace of mind when a major storm is approaching their area.
- Create a maintenance regime to monitor the buildup of snow or ice on sidewalks and paths and check for tree limbs on roofs, gutters and business premises.
- Keep the building heated to a minimum of 65 degrees even when the building is closed which will prevent pipes from freezing.
- Invest in back-up generators to ensure continuous power or use monitoring systems to warn if the temperature inside the building is falling to a dangerous level.
- Monitor sprinkler systems to ensure early detection of a pipe failure.
- Install a monitored automatic excess flow switch on the main incoming water line to provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve.
- Drain the water system to prevent damage to pipes if the building will be empty for an extended period of time.
Have a Plan of Action –
- Create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan by analyzing every conceivable risk so you can minimize unnecessary delays should the worst happen. Find information at: http://www.ready.gov/business
- Document key business processes and ensure that sensitive and vital information is stored securely at more than one location.
- Set clear roles and duties so that recovery will not be hampered by the absence of one key individual.
- Establish clear lines of communication with clients, emergency services and disaster recovery professionals so you can react quickly and effectively.