Risk Insights: Spring Storm Safety Tips for Businesses
Spring can bring about some of the year’s most dangerous weather and wreak havoc on many aspects of a company’s operations. This article discusses weather threats to watch out for during spring and outlines measures businesses can take to minimize related damage.
Dangerous Spring Weather
Severe weather increases the risk of property damage, injury and even death. Here are some common types of spring weather events:
- Tornadoes—Tornadoes can cause significant damage by destroying buildings, ripping trees from the ground and throwing objects across wide areas. Winds from tornadoes can reach 500 kilometres per hour, sending debris flying.
- Thunderstorms—Severe thunderstorms can produce strong winds, large hail and lightning. If lightning strikes in a dry area, fires can occur.
- Flooding—Snowmelt, ice jams and heavy rain can produce large amounts of water runoff in a short period of time, resulting in floods.
- Blizzards—Early spring snowstorms may cause power outages or property damage. In severe cases, these weather events can also force businesses to shut down.
- Excessive heat—The second half of spring typically brings higher temperatures, potentially leading to heat-related disorders or illnesses among employees who work in outdoor environments.
While springtime weather may be unpredictable, businesses can minimize risks to both people and property by preparing for all situations. Business leaders should consider the following precautions:
- Develop a plan. If employees have to travel to work, severe spring weather could put them in danger on the road. In addition, shelter-in-place orders or power outages could also pose threats to on-site employees, clients and customers. Having a plan in place can help everyone remain safe during an emergency. Outline what employees should do in different circumstances—such as a power loss—and have communication protocols. Conduct drills until the plan becomes second nature.
- Keep an emergency kit on hand. This kit should contain emergency supplies, including flashlights, water, a first-aid kit, blankets, extra batteries, a toolset and current contact information for provincial and local entities.
- Secure the property and outdoor assets. Dead trees, weak structures and unsecured materials can become airborne hazards during windstorms, damaging buildings or external systems. If severe weather is in the forecast, complete preventive maintenance, close windows securely, bring outdoor furniture inside and clear out storm drains.
- Back up data. Severe weather can cause power outages and may physically damage equipment. Back up critical data often to help smoothly rebuild systems.
- Obtain proper coverage. An experienced insurance professional can help business leaders understand and plan for the impacts of catastrophic weather. Complete an insurance review to ensure there are no coverage gaps that could result in unprotected losses.
By minimizing the opportunity for property damage, preparing employees to act accordingly and working with an experienced insurance professional to secure appropriate coverage, businesses can better mitigate severe weather risks during springtime. For more information, contact us today.