Don't be unprepared for winter

30th September, 2015

With the news that 2015 could be the coldest winter in 50 years, there has never been a better time to put a winter maintenance plan in place.

The devastating winter of 1962/63, also known as 'the Big Freeze of 1963', brought the nation to a standstill and even disrupted the national sporting calendar. Now, forecasters are warning that a repeat of the five months of snow and frozen rivers throughout the UK could be on its way, thanks to plummeting temperatures in the Atlantic. Whether or not the freak weather will reach the same record lows of -20ºC as they did in January 1963, winter is on its way and it pays to be prepared.

Throughout 2012, severe weather was the top cause of disruption to British businesses, adversely impacting up to 77% of companies.

In January this year, severe weather disrupted activity in the private business sector, especially manufacturing and services.

"The first month of 2015 has given the recovery in the Scottish economy a sharp, weather-related jolt reminiscent of the bad weather effect of four years ago," said Donald Macrae, Chief Economist at the Bank of Scotland.

Analysis of Met Office data shows that high rainfall in January 2015 alone cost the economy a potential £76.3 million over the quarter. The data also indicated that small and medium businesses suffer the most during extreme weather conditions — primarily because they lack a contingency plan.

However, it is affordable and necessary for businesses of all sizes to plan ahead for winter. Speaking in 2013, Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, reflected on the CMI's findings that 90% of organisations with a contingency plan in place said that they were ready for the year's snowfall.

"Snow in the UK is hardly unusual — yet too many businesses are allowing it to hit them hard," she said.

"A key part of any manager's job is making sure that the business keeps running, come what may, and that means planning proactively. Your business will cope better and recover faster if you plan ahead. Managers that don't are left counting the cost in lost business, damage to customer trust and reputation."

Preparing for the worst can make all the difference for businesses. The city of Atlanta, Georgia only has one snow event every few years, but it keeps 500 snow ploughs on standby — so when it does happen, they're ready. Your business probably doesn't need quite so many snow ploughs, but an effective winter maintenance plan should cover you for the cold weather ahead.

At Ice Watch we can help you put a contingency plan in place, no matter how big or small your business. Call us today on 01728 633900 for a quote tailored to your site.

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