Small Business Winter Weather Preparedness
Flurries (or more!) in the forecast? It is the perfect time to prepare for winter weather safety and develop a plan before you need it. According to the Insurance Information Institute, this is truer than ever. In 2022 winter storms were the fourth-largest cause of catastrophe losses and water damage from frozen pipes led the list of claims. As winter 2021 was even worse, many are calling for better preparedness.
“Since the costliest winter insurance event in U.S. history occurred in 2021, after a deep freeze caused widespread property damage in multiple states, reducing the risks caused by colder temperatures has taken on added urgency,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Insurance Information Institute. “Risk mitigation is the key to reducing property damage and one of the reasons insurers and policyholders are moving away from ‘detect and repair’ and toward ‘predict and prevent.’”
Get Started with these Winter Weather Preparedness Tips
- Assess your risk – what are the weather trends in your area?
- Inventory supplies and make necessary purchases.
- Create a plan for operating business even in a weather event.
- Stay informed by watching weather and signing up for alerts.
- Plan a way to always maintain heat in your business, if possible.
- Check your insurance coverage and inventory valuable equipment.
Check your facility
- Inspect the roof, make repairs and know the maximum snow load.
- Assess how weathertight your property is, adding additional seals on windows and doors as needed.
- Insulate pipes, crawl space and attics.
- Check the air filters in your HVAC system and verify the last time it was maintained.
- Purchase (or check) a generator.
Check the exterior (and call in an expert if needed!)
- Trim trees within falling distance of your building.
- Double check that all hoses are disconnected, drained and stored.
- Ensure exterior faucets/bibs are shut off and covered with insulation.
- Be sure all exterior faucets/bibs have a shut-off valve inside the building, if not call a plumber!
- Hire a licensed professional to inspect your fire protection sprinkler systems.
Find even more great tips for winter preparedness from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.