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Emergency Preparedness: 21 Tips to Survive Your Next Snowstorm

September 17, 2015 Posted by in Business, Emergency Preparedness Plan, Mass Notification System, News, Pocketstop, RedFlag, Technology, Trending

Since September is National Preparedness Month and because winter weather will be here soon, here’s a list you’ll want to keep handy!

As individuals we worry about our families, our homes, our pets and even our cars when the snowy season arrives. We’re not the only ones who have concerns. Property managers and owners have a great responsibility as well when it comes to preparing for the winter season.

Today, I am going to highlight 5 of the 21 tips outlined by Bisnow earlier this year. 

Property managers from Washington DC to Chicago, Toronto and other very snowy places provided Bisnow with these helpful tips earlier this years! And, because we love communications, I’ve offered an emergency preparedness suggestion to help property managers navigate this winter with ease.

  • “Beware of Salt Overruns: Salt’s expensive, so Avison Young buys in bulk and early. Specify how much salt contractors should be putting down, because some put down too much—and that can cause damage to your property by eating away at curbs and sidewalks and killing vegetation. His staff immediately sweeps up extra salt.”

Emergency Preparedness Tip: If you’re going to use salt that means you’ve got ice. The purpose of salt is to help lower the freezing point of the water which leads to melting and prevents additional snow or water from freezing. Keep your tenants and employees well informed of the icy conditions outside your property. Sending a mass notification via RedFlag is one way to do it. Also, send a patrol once or twice a day out around your property and parking lots to make sure dangerous areas marked. Posting on social media about icy conditions is a great way to keep customers informed as well.

  • “Understand Tenants’ Critical Needs: While leases are being signed or tenants are moving in, speak with them to find out what in their offices will be most impacted by a storm and what systems (like servers) would need to be hooked up to emergency generators to keep their businesses running.”

Emergency Preparedness Tip: When power outages occurs, having your tenants’ key systems set to run on backup generators is a huge plus for business continuity. In a worst case scenario, if backup generators fail, make sure you still have a way to communicate to your tenants and employees. The RedFlag Notification System can send multi-channel alerts to tenants and employees from any on or off-site location with an internet connection. Make sure even if all your systems are down, you can still connect with your people on their personal phones or work-issued mobile devices during an emergency.

  • “Take Care of Your Staff: Security, engineering and management teams should have a place to go in case it’s impossible to get home. Reserve rooms in a nearby hotel, and have a contingency plan ready so they understand who’s staffing the building and when in case there’s a lockdown.”

Emergency Preparedness Tip: Snow fall can happen quickly. If your tenants and employees can’t make the drive home because of icy road conditions make sure you not only have a place for them to go but make sure you have a way to communicate with them once they’ve arrived. Especially if you need essential personnel back onsite or need to let everyone know conditions have improved. Keeping everyone on the same page and not in the dark during a disruptive event is a great way to take care of your people.

  • “Have a Written Snow Plan: Make sure it includes manpower and shift coverage, written logs for equipment usage and servicing, and a contact list of relief personnel.”

Emergency Preparedness Tip: If you haven’t noticed, communication is the theme of these emergency preparedness suggestions. Being able to communication quickly and directly to your “snow plan” team will be crucial. In RedFlag, you can create a notification group that includes only those people in your action plan team. Being able to communicate them quickly, directly and all at once will keep operations running smoothly.

  • “Communicate with Tenants: Talk to them about your plans before winter comes. They may be able to point out other issues you’re not aware of.”

Emergency Preparedness Tip: This tip by CBRE’s Deb Gallet of Chicago is my favorite because it directly addresses communication. Communication between people, not devices, is essential in keeping an emergency situation under control. With the proper communication systems and procedures in place, a property manager can help prevent emergencies related to winter weather and, in the event of a critical situation, keep all stakeholders aware and informed ultimately keeping them safer and more secure.

For more information about the RedFlag Notification System and how it can help you prepare for this season’s winter weather, please give us a call at 877-840-2444 or visit www.pocketstop.com to live chat with us today.


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