While planning is key to handling any snowstorm, there are some basic rules to keep you and your clients safe during snow or ice emergencies. Removing snow can be a difficult job even under the most ideal circumstances, but it becomes that much harder when there is an actual snow or ice emergency. Indeed, if the government does declare a snow or ice emergency, then you should delay plowing or de-icing until the event has passed.
First of all, familiarize yourself with this previous post for tips on Plowing During a Snowstorm. Before the event, check your snow and ice removal equipment to make sure its in good working order, and purchase enough supplies from your Meyer dealer or representative to get you through the entire event. You should already have snow tires on your truck or chains if they are legal in your area.
Check with the Weather Channel, accuweather.com or local weather resources to see when the storm will hit and how long it will last. Plan your work accordingly. You may be able to get in a quick pass of your accounts and remove some snow before the actual emergency is declared. The more snow you remove before the event, the less you’ll have to deal with later. But don’t push it. Once the emergency is declared, plan on riding it out at home, but inform your clients of your intention as well as when you will be available for snow removal or ice remediation.
If you are heading out just prior to a major snow or ice event, make sure you dress for the weather, and take along an emergency/survivor kit as outline here on Plowing During a Snowstorm.
Inspect your vehicle to make sure: all fluid levels are topped off, the brakes work, the tire pressure is correct and the windshield washer and fluid work. If you have de-icing chemicals in your truck bed, make sure they are covered prior to the storm. Keeping your truck in the garage is the best bet, but make sure the chemicals or salt are at least covered so they don’t clump up.
When traveling to a job site, never travel above 40 miles per hour, and go slower if the roads are snowy or icy. Know your route before the storm. If roads are covered, it will help you avoid an accidental run-off and possibly getting stranded either traveling to or from a work site. When you are plowing, make sure you use emergency flashers and other lights such as strobes to increase your visibility.
Following these few basic steps can help you get through a snow emergency. Remember always to err on the side of caution. Your life, and the safety of others may well depend on it.