We obtained a comprehensive disaster preparedness program as a PDF recently and we’d like to share it with you. It’s from Liberty Mutual Insurance and it’s called the Winter Storm Action Plan. Download it yourself by clicking here: WinterThreatsGuide.
We offer it here because it’s a great way to get you thinking about how you would protect your business…and your customers…in the event of a dangerous snowstorm.
There’s no need for us to tell you how devastating winter weather can be here in Central New York. Traffic at a standstill, power off, and employees trapped in your building can all happen during a winter storm.
Snow Load Risk
The cumulative weight of ice and snow on the roof is a danger that looms during a snowstorm. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers some general guidelines to help estimate the weight of snow:
• 10-12 inches of new snow equals about 5 lbs per square foot of roof space.
• Pack snow is heavier: 3-5 inches equals about 5 lbs per square foot of roof space.
• Ice is heavier than snow. One inch equals about a foot of fresh snow.
When you’re measuring snow load, it’s the total amount of snow and ice that’s accumulated on the roof that matters. If your roof gets hit with two feet of new snow on top of a base of two feet of old snow, the accumulated weight could be as high as 60 lbs per square foot of roof space.
That would put your roof in the danger zone of collapse. Actually, if you think you’ve got 20-25 lbs per square foot, you should get the snow removed from your roof. Of course, these are very general figures, not considering the age of your roof, its condition, or design. Click on the link above for more very good info on snow load from the IBHS.
The first thing you most likely think about during a storm is to get snow removed for your customers. During a storm, you’re not going to find plowing contractors last minute. So here in Central New York, hire a contractor at the beginning of the season to take care of snow removal all winter. And, of course, get a certificate of insurance for liability and workers’ compensation coverage.
At SZW Insurance, we use our social media channels for advice on insurance and articles about life in the Mohawk Valley that we think our customers will find helpful. During a storm, social media is also a great way to communicate with employees and customers. Let them know you’re open…or closed. What services you have available, changed hours, or any operational information.
So what can you do to prevent disaster during a major snow storm? The main thing is to update your emergency preparedness and response plans ahead of time. That’s where the Winter Storm Action Plan comes in. It’s comprehensive and not all if its suggestions apply to every business. But we encourage you to download it today and get thinking about what you can do to prepare “for the big one.”
Missing out on sales and wasting time dealing with a storm costs money. SZW Insurance is here for you if disaster strikes. But it’s always more cost effective to plan ahead and lessen the effects of our big Central New York snow storms.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.