The winter season is the busiest time of the year for plumbers and plumbing companies. This can be a good thing, but it also requires more preparation on the part of the organization.
Winter is a time when customers need to have their pipes checked and maintained. They also want to make sure that they are prepared for any severe weather that might impact their home or business.
Not to mention, winter storms can bring frigid temperatures and knock out communication services. Result in road closures and serious issues for your clients pipes.
A winter preparedness checklist can help you prepare for these challenges and increase your customer satisfaction ratings. Here are some ideas for things to include in your winter preparedness checklist.
What is Business Continuity Planning?
Business continuity planning is integral to business planning and ensures that a business will continue to run even if winter weather strikes. It also protects employees and customers by minimizing risk.
The first step in creating a business continuity plan or winter preparedness checklist is to conduct a needs analysis and set goals. The program should consider the various departments of a company. And it should include how those departments are likely to be affected by a disaster. Once those goals have been established, the next step is to build a plan that addresses these needs.
Critical operations can continue when business continuity is done right, and all functions can resume quickly. Conversely, failing to plan for a disaster can cost a company its reputation, income, and even its entire business.
A Winter Preparedness Checklist for Plumbers.
Winter is a time of year that can be both beautiful and treacherous. Winter storms can be deadly. Most of these fatalities result from traffic accidents due to icy roadways. In addition, the weather can lead to hypothermia if people are exposed to the cold for a prolonged period. Therefore, it is vital to make specific plans for each winter storm threat that you might face.
Winter storms can also disrupt power systems. As a result, power outages can be disastrous for people and businesses. Not only can they impact the productivity of employees and impact safety, but they can also cause data loss. By making specific plans for power outages, you can minimize the impact of these devastating storms on your business.
As the weather gets colder, it’s important for all companies to take precautions to avoid losing business due to an unexpected event. If you own or manage a plumbing company, here are some tips on how to prepare your organization for winter.
Assess Your Risks As a Business
Assessing the level of winter weather risk for your company is a critical first step to winter preparedness. The threat level will depend on your business’s location, industry, and employees. Check local news and travel safety guidelines to determine your area’s risk.
Depending on your location and industry, you will need to plan for different threats. For instance, if you live in an areas where temperatures drop you must be prepared for the snow and outages.
If you are in a warmer area, you need to prepare for the surprise cold streak that shuts down businesses, roads, and create plumbing issues suddenly. Check regional news and follow travel safety recommendations to be sure you’re prepared.
Businesses in the path of winter storms should prepare their employees and facilities for these conditions. Ensure employees are trained, equipped, and have appropriate resources. If your company employs remote workers, preparing employees for icy road conditions is essential.
Also, winter weather can lead to a surge in emergency calls with your clients. With your team, you may experience a surge in call-outs and attendance issues. These issues will require additional communication support and automated technology.
In addition to ensuring you have a plan in case of a disaster, you should create an emergency communication plan. For example, you should train your staff on how to contact leadership for emergencies and needs, and make sure they have an updated contact.
Determine Who’s Responsible for First Response
Make sure that you have enough staff available to handle the increased workload during this busy time of year. You may need to hire more employees or possibly bring in outsourced teams.
The first response team should be made up of a cross-section of the organization. This is important because it’s not always clear who is responsible for what in a crisis, and you want to make sure everyone is following the same playbook.
Also, you don’t want everything to fall on one person because an emergency can take that person out of communication.
The best way to determine who should be on your team is by looking at the role they play within your organization. For example, if you have an HR person or a marketing manager who might need to handle an employee crisis or PR issue, then they could be part of the first response team.
It’s also important that everyone on your team communicates with one another as much as possible so they’re prepared for any situation that arises.
You’ll need someone to manage all incoming and outgoing communication during this time — not just text messages but also phone calls and emails from customers, employees and other stakeholders who are wondering what’s going on with your company.
Equip Your People
Winter weather can be hazardous to the workforce, employee safety, and business operations. However, preparing in advance can mitigate these risks and protect your business from damage.
Prepare your office, automobile, and home for winter. Include emergency supplies like warm clothing, blankets, flashlights, radios, extra batteries, and food. Practice, review, and update protocols with staff and managers so everyone is familiar with emergency procedures.
Keep workers warm. Proper clothing and footwear are essential to prevent accidents and injury. During the cold months, work tasks can take longer than usual. As a result, employees may take extra breaks, clear their work area, and wear more layers of clothing.
Ahead of the season, check all of your equipment and make sure that it’s working properly, especially if you use older models or older technology (like manual pumps). Make sure that all of your trucks are ready for service as well; make sure they’re gassed up and ready to go!
Keep Everyone Informed with Web-Based On-Call Scheduling
Web-based on-call scheduling software allows you to manage your employees’ schedules in real time, so that everyone knows when they will be available and when they need to take calls. With our solution, you can even set up an automated alert system that notifies technicians and managers when they have an urgent request and it’s time for them to log in and start working on it.
With web-based on-call scheduling software, employees can check their schedule at any time from any computer or mobile device with Internet access. It also keeps everyone up-to-date about changes to their schedule as they happen.
Mass SMS alerts can deliver important weather information to large groups at once, often well before a storm threatens. By sending these alerts regularly, your recipients will get used to receiving them and will be more likely to follow emergency instructions. In addition, mass SMS is easy to use and has a variety of uses.
Final Thoughts On A Winter Preparedness Checklist
When you run a business, you need to be available to provide customer service. However, there are also times when you may be busy with winter emergencies and unable to take a call. This can lead to missed opportunities for your business and frustration for customers who cannot get in touch with you.
It’s essential to be prepared for the cold weather. High heating bills can be a nuisance for clients leading to short tempers. Chilly drafts can freeze pipes. You may also have to deal with leaking water in a clients attic or ice dams on their roof.
Plan ahead with a winter preparedness checklist. This includes checking weather forecasts, stocking up on supplies and making sure you have everything covered in case of emergencies. Learn more about preparing your business with all the details in this guide to build your winter preparedness checklist.