Taking some time now to prepare for winter can make all the difference to you, your home and your business should severe weather hit in the coming months.
In years past we’ve all seen the disruption bad weather can bring, dealing with problems such as difficult or impossible travel, loss of power, burst pipes, no phone connection or being stuck indoors for several days. As temperatures start to go down, it’s worth thinking what you can do now to help yourself, your family and your business cope with the potential winter weather problems ahead, from dealing with day-to-day weather difficulties to knowing what to do in an emergency.
Think about measures you can take to make your house as energy efficient as you can, protect your pipes and know how to turn your water and electricity off if needed. Also, make sure you’ve topped up your salt or grit supply and know where your snow shovel is, so you can keep your pathway and drive clear.
Draw up a plan for your household for what to do in an emergency, including emergency contact numbers, and put together an emergency kit. This kit should include such things as a battery operated or wind-up torch and radio, some bottled water and food, essential medication, copies of important documents and any other supplies you and your family might need, like baby formula.
Keeping your business running in severe weather can be a challenge. You have to look at how weather disruptions might affect your staff, your suppliers and your service to your customers. Work out how you would cope with any power or water supply loss, or having to evacuate people or stock from part of your premises, and check your insurance cover is in place. Involve your staff in developing contingency strategies and talk to them about potential travel problems and possible alternative working arrangements, like flexible arrival times or home working. It’s also good to check your communication plan in case of emergency is up to date, so it’ll be easy to put into action to keep customers and staff informed through any disruption.
Think about possible alternatives to your usual day-to-day travel arrangements so you know the options if bad weather hits and weigh up whether you can delay or postpone your journey if conditions are difficult. Make sure you have essentials, such as a blanket, food, ice scraper, warm clothing and boots, in your car in case you get stuck, your mobile phone is fully charged, and someone knows where you’re going and when you’re likely to arrive.
And don’t forget others in your community who might appreciate a helping hand in severe weather. Be in touch now to say how you can help if needed.