Category Archives: Guest Blog Posts

Properly Prepare for Winter Weather

Baby it’s cold outside!  Winter has arrived with a vengeance in most of North America.  We thought that it would be a good idea to ask our friend Darryl Culley from Emergency Management & Training Inc to share his expertise on emergency preparedness for your home and business.  To learn more visit   Share this post with your friends and family.  Print it out and use it!   Make it a part of your New Year business planning.  As Nike says JUST DO IT!

Are You Prepared?

Snowstorms, freezing rain, and deep freezes are some of the events that winter brings. The effects of those events may cause prolonged power failures, dangerous driving conditions, and damage caused by falling trees, ice buildup, and frozen pipes.

It may come as a surprise that many businesses do not have a business continuity plan for extended winter storms or power outages. Following major storms, we frequently get calls about putting plans in place to be better prepared for next time as many are now anxious that this winter may bring additional troubles. We are here to assist them.

Why wait for the storm, why not prepare today. This is particularly critical for homes and small businesses where you are not making money if you are not working.

Here is a quick example of some of the risks that you should consider and prepare for. We all know the lights will go out during a prolonged power failure but the following may also be impacted:

• Heat (forced air gas / propane furnaces and hot water heating pumps use electricity);

• Water supply (if you are on a well / cistern or there is a water main break);

• Computers and your internet modems;

• Cell phones (many cell towers do not have generators – while your phone may be fully charged, if the cell tower is not working you won’t have a connection);

• Hard line telephones – most phones are digital and require electricity to operate);

• Gas for your vehicles – gas pumps are electric;

• ATMs, credit card and other electronic point of purchase machines (do you carry extra cash?);

• Fridges and freezers (watch for food spoilage);

• Sump and sewage pumps (now that can cause a real mess);

• Elevators that are not on a generator;

• Traffic lights being out can cause traffic chaos (treat intersections as all-way stops);

• Water pipes may freeze (and burst) if the inside temperature drops below freezing.

Some of the other considerations during power failures:

• The use of candles and infrequently used fireplaces increases the risks fire;

• Generators and other devices should never be used indoors unless properly vented as they give off carbon monoxide and other toxic fumes;

• When was the last time the generator was maintained, fueled, and tested?

• Battery operated devices (e.g. UPS for your computer and emergency lighting) have limited power supplies and will fail sooner or later;

Do you have an emergency preparedness kit at home, at the office, in the car?

Can you continue your business while the power is out? Do you have a backup plan?

Below is a winter weather checklist that will help you start to get prepared. It does not replace a comprehensive business continuity plan but gets you started on the right track.

For more information on preparing an emergency plan for your family go to:

May 2014 be a year of abundance for you and your business! Remember there are many types of profit, not just financial.

Darryl Culley

Emergency Management & Training Inc.