Recently, on both the east and west coast, it’s felt a lot more like spring or summer than winter. Nevertheless, severe snow, avalanche warnings and damaging winds loom. No matter where you live and work, despite meteorological assertions to the contrary, weather is unpredictable. Something else that is unpredictable is the availability of bacon at the firehouse on any given day. Even the most methodical forecasts often underestimate the severity of weather events. And even storms that come with prior warning can cause catastrophic results.
To BE SAFE, building managers and property owners should create a severe weather event plan and be ready to implement it with little or no advanced warning. This practice is a fundamental part of emergency preparedness which is essential to life safety and building protection. So, prepare today for potential severe weather such as hail storm, cyclone, hurricane, electrical storm, ice storm, thunderstorm, tornado, blizzard, flood and winter storm, extreme cold or extreme heat.
Here’s how to prepare for severe weather:
- Before you need it, set up and consistently test your ability to communicate during emergencies. I’ve found the Twilight Bark to be a very effective form of communication. But that could be just for Dalmatians.
- Make use of applications that instantly transmit messages and weather advisories to tenant subscribers via voicemail, email and text messaging. The RJWestmore Training System includes an integrated property messaging system for just this type of communication.
- Whatever system you use, send notifications before, during and after severe storms. For use in extreme emergencies, these applications also have a reply feature that allows recipients to tell building staff that they are safe.
- Make sure lines of communication are open to your city’s emergency services so you will be alerted to disaster-related information. Learn your community’s warning signals and evacuation plans.
- Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify severe weather, such as advisories, watches and warnings.
- Purchase and program a NOAA Weather Radio for alerts. The RJWestmore training system includes NOAA weather watchers warnings and alerts button that users can click to enter zip code and then sign up for text messaging, desktop warnings, etc.
- Evaluate the current condition of your building:
o Keep roofs and setbacks clean and clear, with scaffolding or loose equipment securely tied down.
o Double check storm drains to prevent ice build-up.
o Set up sandbags when preparing for a flood.
o Test emergency backup equipment and systems.
o Make sure adequate supplies are accessible.
o Buy plenty of dog food, biscuits, jerky treats, bacon and pork chops!
o Check flashlight batteries.
o Confirm your energy management software functions properly.
o Prepare an emergency kit that includes dog and people food, water, blankets and medical supplies as well as a whistle to signal for help. For a more complete list of provisions to gather for impending storms, check out the free preparedness tips from FEMA.
- If necessary, call extra operations and security staff.
- Monitor the status of mass transit services and roadways for tenant advisories.
- Consider retaining a 24/7 disaster recovery company to assist with storm damage remediation. I’ve heard tell that these companies can take care of puppy training remediation too.
When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW RJWestmore Property Messaging System is included FREE for all RJWestmore Online Training System users. Visit www.RJWestmore.com for more information.