Canadian winters can get very frightening, very quickly. Storms often strike with little warning, sending howling winds, sub-zero temperatures, and ice pellets to massacre your property (and your travel plans). Preparing for winter storms should be top of mind when the days get shorter, colder, and less hospitable.
What’s your plan?
Having a plan in place can save you time and money when severe weather strikes. Knowing in advance what your insurance policy covers is a great first step – but you’ll want to pair that knowledge with some good preparation. Here are some tips to help you bolster your defences for that next big storm (and all it has in store).
7 tips for preparing for winter storms
Dealing with snow and freezing rain as it falls is difficult enough; living with all the hazards and traffic-related problems afterward can be a real headache. Keep these tips in mind to help you through the trouble.
- Listen up. Know what winter storm warnings mean and familiarize yourself with the four types of severe winter weather alerts in Canada. The better you understand what sort of issue you’re facing, the better you can protect yourself and your property with the right precautions.
- Put your plan in place. Make sure you have a loss prevention plan in place that safeguards your business from exposures such as extreme weather conditions, as well as other risks like fire and theft.
- Create a contact list. Your emergency contact list is a crucial tool in the wake of a disaster. Be sure to include things like insurance information, water and utilities contacts, and family contacts.
- Keep a kit in your car. Have a roadside emergency kit in your car, as well as a full-sized shovel. These things can be lifesavers if you find yourself stranded on a highway in the middle of nowhere.
- Take care of slip and fall hazards. Minimize slip and fall incidents on your property – these are leading causes of claims in Canada and can result in legal problems for your business. Fortunately, we have a template to help you with reporting this sort of incident.
- Store vehicles properly. Winter weather means it’s time to put away your recreational vehicles (RVs) for the season. With proper storage and maintenance, you can avoid costly repair bills resulting from weather damage.
- Take precautions to prevent floods. Sudden and accidental bursting of plumbing pipes is common during extreme cold weather, and the damage can be costly to fix. While you can’t control the weather, you can reduce your chances of a burst pipe by using our water damage checklist as a jumping-off point for your own inspection routine.
Having a plan in place can save you time and money when severe weather strikes.
Stock up for the long haul
Having a contingency plan in place can go a long way to getting your business back on track when disaster strikes. One problem is that you never know just how much damage will result or how long your operations could be sidelined: big winter storms can knock out electricity, heat, and communication services for days.
With proper preventative measures and insurance coverage in place, weathering the storm can be manageable. Now’s the time to think about the supplies and backup power you would need if the problems persist, and consider some extra tools to deal with potential new problems, like:
- Carbon monoxide detectors (since the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning can increase when using alternative heat sources indoors).
- Extra salt or sand to tackle icy walkways and entrances to your building.
- A supply of flashlights and batteries to ensure employees can continue to move safely through the work space.
- Water and food in case you’re snowed in for a long stretch of time.
Check in on your coverage
Your business insurance coverage can come to your rescue if a winter storm causes damage or destruction, but it’s up to you to make sure your coverage extends far enough for your unique business. Not sure if your policy has what you need? Could you use some help assessing your risk? We can connect you to a knowledgeable insurance broker who can help you sort things out!