CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

Insights and tips on how to protect your adventure sports business, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
/ Categories: BLOG Articles

How to Craft a Severe Weather Action Plan for Outfitters

Man wearing raincoat walking through woods as a rain storm is happening.

Spring is here, but don’t be fooled by the pretty flowers and chirping birds. In a matter of seconds, what once was a warm sunny day can transpire into a dangerous storm. Severe weather conditions that occur in spring and early summer can be detrimental to your line of work, putting an unintended strain on your business. Make sure your outfitter is prepared by re-acquainting yourself with these spring weather threats and the measures you can take to minimize damage.

Dangerous Spring Weather

Unexpected severe weather increases the risk of property damage, injury and even death. Here are some common types of spring weather events:

  • Tornadoes: According to AccuWeather, tornadoes are by far the most extreme event in the spring. Winds from tornadoes can exceed 200 miles per hour, sending debris flying.
  • Thunderstorms: Severe thunderstorms can produce strong winds, large hail and lightning. If lightning strikes in a dry area, fires can occur.
Ensure your adventure sports business is prepared for the unexpected. Check out these  safety tips for outfitters.
  • Flooding:  Snowmelt, ice jams and heavy rain can produce large amounts of water runoff in a short period of time, resulting in floods. 
  • Blizzards:  Snowstorms  that occur in the spring may cause power outages or property damage. They can also force businesses to shut down. 
  • Excessive heat: The second half of spring typically brings higher temperatures, leading to  heat-related disorders  or illnesses if employees work in outdoor environments.

Actions Outfitter Owners Can Take

There are several strategies outfitter owners can implement to help keep their employees and guests safe and reduce the risks related to severe storms. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Develop a plan. If employees have to travel to work, severe spring weather could put them in danger on the road. In addition, shelter-in-place orders or power outages could also pose threats to onsite employees and guests. Having a plan in place can help everyone remain safe during an emergency. Outline what employees should do in different circumstances — such as a power loss — and have a  communication protocol.
  • Monitor weather forecasts. Knowing what weather is on the way can help you make adequate preparations. It can provide you with information that will play a role in making decisions regarding early closures to help keep employees and guests safe. Because  extreme weather  events can develop quickly, it is important to assign one person the task of monitoring the weather throughout the day. For this, it’s valuable to always have a weather radio or computer on hand on the job site.
  • Protect the property. Dead foliage, weak structures and unsecured materials can become airborne hazards during windstorms and cause damage to buildings and external systems. If severe weather is in the forecast, complete preventive maintenance, close windows securely, bring outdoor furniture inside and clear out storm drains.
  • Communicate. Create procedures in place that keep lines of communication intact with employees and guests following severe storms. Power outages may occur and cellphones may not be reliable during disasters, so communication may require the use of  tools that do not utilize  those systems (e.g., two-way radios).
  • Back up data. Severe weather can cause power outages and may physically damage equipment. Back up  critical data  often to help smoothly rebuild systems.
  • Keep an emergency kit on hand. This kit should contain emergency supplies, including flashlights, water, a first-aid kit, blankets, extra batteries, a toolset and current contact information for state and local entities.
  • Learn from previous experiences. Reviewing previous severe storms can help identify aspects of your operations that are at risk. It can also help strengthen risk management measures.

Prepare Your Employees

Employees should be informed of your company policies related to inclement weather — safety, attendance and pay-related. Establish a communication method to inform your employees of a business closing, experiencing inclement weather or a delay. This plan should be as detailed as possible, easily accessible and well-practiced. When bad weather is coming, address all your policies again, remind employees of communication channels to address attendance and plan for the worst potential outcome to ensure your business is prepared for the weather. It’s also important to communicate with employees regarding when it’s safe to return to work following adverse weather.

Don’t Fear the Storm — CBIZ Adventure Sports Insurance

In spring, more than one weather event can often occur in the same week or even the same day. Because of the unpredictability of weather this time of year, it can be challenging to be fully prepared for severe weather to hit. Planning as much as possible is essential to keep your business, employees and your customers safe.  Request a free CBIZ Adventure Sport Insurance quote  today.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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