Snow and ice management is an important responsibility for cemetery administrators. After all, slippery or obstructed parking areas and walkways can result in injury to visitors and employees. To ensure that your cemetery is prepared to tackle snow and ice management problems, here are a few tips to consider before contracting out the work:
Look for Association Membership
The Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) is a national, non-profit trade association for snow and ice management professionals. SIMA members abide by a professional code of ethics including sound business practices, state and local laws and appropriate insurance. By contracting with a SIMA member, you can improve the likelihood of hiring a reliable and responsible snow and ice management team. They can provide you with all necessary information concerning safety and security during winter months. The fact that they are part of a bigger association is an advantage to them and allows them to gain from the combined knowledge.
Recognize the Importance of Mobilization
When a snow or ice storm hits, your contractor’s ability to mobilize its resources is critical to making sure your cemetery or funeral home will remain open. When choosing a local snow and ice management company, make sure its equipment is positioned close to your location. Review what equipment will be used and if it is dedicated to your property or if it will be shared with another customer of the service provider.
Consider Team Chemistry
A reliable snow and ice management team should be agreeable to work with and proactive in identifying your goals and priorities. Then, during a storm, they have clear direction about which areas they can provide the most effective support. Make sure you have a contingency plan for heavy snow or challenging ice storms. Your team should also provide you with a single point of contact, specific to your geographic region, who can respond immediately to changing weather patterns and dispatch resources quickly. Do not hesitate to contact this person every time you need to get or give information. Nothing is worse than a lack of communication and information. Identify hours of work to ensure that no one is disturbed by the snow services.
Prepare a Sitemap for Your Cemetery/Funeral Home
No one knows your grounds as well as you. Prepare a sitemap of your property together with your service provider to localize property boundaries, places were snow piles should be placed or should not be sited because of trash dumpsters, fire hydrants, storm drains, walkway ramps and other important commodities. Additionally, this map can help you to survey the work of your snow and ice manager, prepare a winter plan, for example on a web page, to inform customers about working hours, cleared streets and general changes to get the best services possible.
Utilize Weather Monitoring Options
Effective snow and ice management contractors understand the importance of monitoring changing weather conditions and have tools in place to determine when and where storms will hit. These special monitoring programs allow snow and ice managers to reduce the probability of being surprised by a blizzard or freezing rain. Ask your snow and ice management provider what weather monitoring tools he or she uses to monitor weather conditions.
Pursue Environmental Integrity
Environmental integrity plays an important role in snow and ice management. Ask your contractor about alternatives to environmentally-unfriendly de-icers. Additionally, speak with your team about strategically placing snow piles to collect road contaminants like oil, grease and heavy metals from vehicles. This prevents them from discharging into sewer systems that end up in rivers and streams.
Unfortunately, snow and ice storms cannot be avoided. But by taking these tips into consideration, and being proactive in your snow and ice management plan, you can minimize disruption to your cemetery or funeral homes’ operations and/or find a proper snow service provider.