Our customers are already putting their resources towards ensuring their worksites are safe for their employees and customers this winter. Snowmovers is a big part of those plans. But how do you make sure your employees are prepared for the winter. Share our handy tips for being winter ready with your employees and have fewer employee absences due to accidents or home repairs.
Maybe you’re the guy who gets ready for winter by hearing reports about an impending winter storm, then racing to the store to buy bread, milk and water. Or maybe you’re the guy with four bald tires who wonders if there is a sale on at the local tire shop. Or maybe you get ready for winter by rushing to Best Buy to make sure you have the latest movie titles for binge-watching while snowed in.
Whether you are the perennial procrastinator or the ultra-prepared, nearly everyone can learn a few things to do when winter is suddenly upon us.
- Repair the weather stripping around windows and doors. Keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Also inspect and repair places around the outside of your home that are loose. Carefully inspect basement windows for cracked or missing mortar. Vermin can crawl in when they see an opening. They want to keep warm too, and your home looks inviting.
- Take a close look at your roof. Is it sturdy? Heavy winter snows can cause strain on the roof, especially if it is flat. Be prepared to sweep a flat roof if the snow is deep.
- Make an emergency kit for your home AND for your car. What happens if you lose power for a couple of days? Will you be ready? Blankets, hand warmers and flares are good equipment for cars in case your car breaks down or is stranded by heavy snows. If you lose power at home, you might need sleeping bags, candles and flashlights. Also, it’s good to have a radio with batteries that work so you can hear weather reports.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have it checked out. You don’t want carbon monoxide leaking into your home. If you have firewood, make sure you have plenty chopped ahead of time and locate the pile away from the house. You don’t want unwanted guests migrating from the wood pile to your home.
- Keep a fire extinguisher ready and available. Between wood-burning stoves and candles in use, there are more fire hazards in winter than in other times of the year.
- Know where the shut-off valve is for water to your home. You will be desperate to know this if your pipes freeze and burst. You might be able to keep the pipes from freezing in the first place with some insulation.
- Don’t neglect your car. Obviously, your car will be a main means of getting around during a winter storm and it needs to be ready. This is crucial if you have an elderly person or special needs person who depends on you and might need medical attention at any time. Don’t be the guy with the four bald tires. Their stopping power won’t help much during freezing rain or snow. Make sure you have adequate levels of antifreeze and that your heater is working properly.
- Make sure you have the basics for snow removal. Is your snow shovel in good condition? Flimsy plastic ones don’t qualify. Keep some deicing material close at hand for sidewalks and for the path to your garbage cans. Good gloves, hats and boots are a must for when the time for shoveling arrives. Be like the irritating guy in your neighborhood who has his snow shovels lined up in perfect order on the porch before the first snowflake appears.
- Review your family communications plan. Do you have kids at school? Elderly parents who could be trapped indoors? Family members who commute long distances? Make sure they all know how to get in touch with one another and have a first, second and third places to meet in case of a winter
- Make sure your mind and body are ready. Do you need a flu shot? Get it. Darker days and stay-inside nights can contribute to feelings of depression. Know yourself and have some good friends to call if you get lonely. Nothing brightens a winter evening more than gathering with friends for food, laughter and warmth. Let it snow.