Six More Weeks of One of the Most Powerful Winter Seasons in US History?

With the help of our friend Punxsutawney Phil, the idea of six more weeks of this winter season can be a hard pill to swallow.

This year has produced record low temperatures and large-scale winter storms affecting nearly every state in the US. Although these winter storms occur every year, their severity should never be underestimated, and in recent years the pattern of abnormal temperatures (cold and warm) has alarmed climate scientists.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric more than 1,600 daily records for cold were tied or broken in the last week of December 2017.

The Department of Homeland Security says that a winter storm can range from freezing rain and ice to moderate snowfall and even day long blizzard storms. These storms can lead to power outages, roads and walkways closures while also temporarily halting community services like public transportation, healthcare, schools and child care.

The first week of 2018 saw some of the coldest temperatures ever recorded for multiple cities in the Northeast, and snow and ice forming all the way from Florida to Maine. These weather patterns caused severe travel delays, holding up economic growth at a time where consumer confidence has jumped to a 17-year high according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index.

While we live in a time where much of our business can be conducted online or over the phone, when entire regions of the US are affected by dangerous winter storms, supply chains can be disrupted.  These types of events have stopped trucks and air freight from arriving to their destinations, causing inventory issues that lead to lower consumer purchases.

Although it is hard to measure the true economic impact of these winter storms, the hardest hit are usually hourly employees at retail and restaurant environments.  While these companies may make up for lost revenue throughout the year, hourly employees are held back when consumers decide to opt out of spending due to weather activity.

Companies can combat the negative economic effects of dangerous winter storms with proper snow and ice removal plans.  Having a well-developed snow and ice control plan increases safety for employees and consumers, while also increasing efficiency and cost-effective exterior facility management.

It’s always better to plan your work and work your plan; and keep in mind that heavy equipment like front end loaders are a necessity to move tons of snow; these get booked up for months in advance by big box retail and restaurants chains in order to be overly prepared for the upcoming season. Consider getting a plan together no later than June for the next winter season.

By Scott Milnes