In many areas, winter storms are a scary reality for small businesses. Most business owners won’t be singing “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” but hoping that severe weather stays well away from their business. Rightly so, since the threat of windstorms, blizzards, and ice storms can be a terrifying situation for all small businesses.
Preparing for a storm can save your business money by helping prevent structural damage, loss of revenue from unnecessary closures during repairs, and costly liability suits from preventable accidents. To make sure your small business is ready to take on the worst winter storms, read on.
Prepare your office building. Extreme weather storms can cause structural damage to your building. Typically, frozen pipes are the culprit, which then burst and water seeps indoors. Check your building carefully for drafts, leaks, and cracks, especially around the windows and doors. If possible, drain all exterior pipes so that the remaining liquid doesn’t freeze and break the pipes. Additionally, add insulation to exposed pipes to help prevent the chill.
Establish and practice safety drills. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends running emergency drills before the bad weather hits. From evacuation routes, communications with employees, and running a business without phones, be sure that you know how to handle each situation.
Secure a generator. Keeping a reliable power source on hand is a safety precaution and a wise business move. If the power goes out, your business can rely on the generator to keep your business running – and turn a profit.
Keep everyone informed. Pay close attention to storm warnings, alerts, and updates. Have a plan to keep employees informed of office closures and further information. Now is the time to update and review your emergency plan, too.
Prepare for the worst. The fallout from winter storms can last for days and weeks. Because most small businesses can’t afford to be idle for that long, a business continuity plan is key. Ensure that this spells out how long you can keep your business afloat in the event of a disaster, how to communicate with vendors and clients, and how to set up temporary offices. You’ll also want to ensure that you know how to file insurance claims if your business has been badly hit.
A breakdown is the bane of any driver’s life, no matter what time of year it is. However, a breakdown in winter is especially unpleasant as the cooler temperatures mean that motorists could be waiting for a tow truck in freezing temperatures. While nothing can replace safe driving habits and an emergency kit, you can avoid some winter breakdowns with these tips.
It’s harder for car batteries to produce a charge in winter, meaning that it may not be able to produce enough energy to start your car when you turn the key. This could mean that you and your vehicle are left stranded in the cold temperatures.
Before it gets too cold, it’s a good idea to check your battery’s voltage with a voltmeter. Around 12.40-12.75 volts is enough to ensure reliable startups. Anything else and it could mean that you should look into getting a new battery.
Many motorists are driving around with bald tires without even realizing it. Tires are what keeps us in contact with the road, so it’s important to keep them well maintained in winter, especially when the roads are slick and icy. Treads help channel the snow and water away from the tires to help your car grip and maintain traction.
Check your tires before winter weather hits, and continue doing so regularly after it gets cold. Make sure that the tread isn’t too worn down. You can check this by placing a cent in the center of the tread with Lincoln’s head pointed in. If you can see his hair, the tread depth is too low and your tires need to be replaced. Also, ensure that you have your spare tire in the trunk at all times!
When it gets cold outside, motor oil thickens, and that will make it harder for your car to get all the fluids it needs to run properly. Lack of fluids can even cause your car to overheat – in winter!
Get all fluids and oil checked out by your local mechanic. You may need to do a winter oil change and switch to a thinner oil that is rated well for colder temperatures.
To ensure your safekeeping on the roads, and quick roadside assistance if things don’t go to plan, visit the team at Abatelli Group, Inc. who can fit you with reliable auto insurance in Whitestone, New York.