Winter’s extreme temperatures, heavy snow and ice, freezing rain and chilling winds can cause power outages, which could last hours to days. Are your policyholders prepared if that happens?
November is Winter Weather Safety Month, so here are some tips to help them get ready in advance of bad weather:
- Have a severe weather emergency preparedness and response plan in place before a storm arrives.
- Make sure your business has an emergency power supply, such as a portable generator or a permanent standby unit.
- Check trees and branches around your facility for any that need trimming to prevent falling, which could cause power outages.
- Provide adequate heat in areas that contain piping to prevent freezing and ice damming.
- Monitor the snow and ice load on your roof to prevent damage or a possible collapse.
- Visit the National Weather Service website for additional winter safety and preparation and terms.
SAFELY USE GENERATORS/TEMPORARY HEATING UNITS
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from engine exhaust – Even if you can’t smell exhaust fumes, you may still have been exposed to carbon monoxide. Consider installing battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms, read the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper precautions.
- Electric shock or electrocution – Ground the generator and plug, and disconnect power coming into the building.
- Fire – Don’t plug the generator into a wall outlet. Never power your house/business by plugging the generator into a wall outlet or the main electrical panel. Only a licensed electrician should connect a generator to a main electrical panel by installing the proper equipment according to local electrical codes. (source NFPA and OSHA)
- Roof Collapse and Tips to Help Prevent It – Utica National Risk Management Alert
- Prevent Freezing for Water Based Fire Protection Equipment – Utica National Risk Management Alert
- Using Portable Generators Safely – OSHA Fact Sheet