Planning & Preparation
Communication is essential
Professional snow & ice providers will have a specific communication plan in place to keep all customers informed and up-to-date. This plan could include phone call trees to provide a layer of communication, onsite visits/updates, and text and email alerts. Some companies even provide updates from a company web portal with real time GPS tracking from the client sites. A reasonable expectation as a client is to work with a professional provider that has processes and systems in place for you to know when your property is going to be serviced.
Things to consider in relation to the weather and conditions include:
- Every storm events needs a response plan. For example: A 2 inch midnight storm requires a different response than a 2 inch rush hour storm.
- Blizzard conditions and long duration storms with heavy accumulation require a disaster response plan that includes power outages and increased resource capacity and multiple shift plans for people and equipment.
- Many times, snow removal operators and laborers are required to work long and irregular hours similar to volunteer fire departments and other emergency response organizations that aren’t budgeted for ‘ready to go’ shift changes.
- 24/7 emergency response required.
- Holiday emergency response required (Leaving the Thanksgiving table or leaving family on Christmas morning).
- Impassible roads and traffic accidents
- Adverse weather conditions including decreased visibility/subfreezing temperatures and ice storms causing power outages and dangerous driving conditions to your site.
Do your snow & ice management provider have a snow & ice response plan?
Prepared and professional snow & ice management providers will have a written process in place for responding to a variety of snow or ice events, ranging from average accumulations to blizzards and ice storms that require a disaster plan for power outages (no fuel will be available) and the need for increased resources and man power. They will have equipment ready, routes scheduled, and a dispatcher coordinating all equipment to necessary areas.
Experienced snow & ice management professionals make weather planning a priority in the response planning process. Many even pay for private forecasting services to help them be best prepared with up-to-date data and real time changes in weather conditions that can change dramatically hour to hour including types/quantity of precipitation and timing/length of storms.
It is reasonable for you the client to expect your existing or potential providers to have a snow & ice response plan.