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March 3-9, 2013, is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. As President Obama stated in his recently signed address, “This week, I encourage all Americans to help meet tomorrow’s challenges by making safety today’s priority.” From FEMA to NOAA, all government agencies are on board to help promote the message of emergency preparedness. All week Preparis will be posting a series on the top severe weather concerns for businesses around the country.

Today, we’re focusing on the threat of a winter storm. Just because the groundhog saw his shadow doesn’t mean the country is free from the threat of a blizzard. In the Southeast, the record-setting Blizzard of “’93 hit on March 15.

Dangerous winter weather comes with several days’ warning thanks to modern meteorology; however, it is essential to have a plan for both your home and business to be prepared for severe cold, ice, or a blizzard dumping several feet of snow. Preparis Emergency Management Consultant Bryan Hill recommends three crucial steps to prepare for a winter storm.

1. Ensure you have an alternate work plan for severe weather so employees don’t have to drive on the road if conditions are bad.
2. Remind employees no one is allowed to use space heaters in the office, as these are a potential safety hazard.
3. Be familiar with your backup generator system to know what it powers. Most times, it will not cover a full-range of technology, so know what it can and can’t do if the power goes off.

Companies who already have access to the Preparis portal can find multiple checklists and tools in The Knowledge Center; but for those who are interested in learning more, please download the Preparis Winter Storm Checklist for an outline of key steps you need to prepare for and respond to dangerous wintry weather. This document will help define what emergency supplies are needed, hazards to be aware of after the storm has passed, plus how to avoid hypothermia and frostbite

Also, check out our Webinar on Winter Storm preparations featuring AccuWeather.com severe weather expert, Henry Margusity. For those out there with questions, feel free to post them in our comments section below. Be sure to follow Preparis on Facebook and Twitter to learn more on how your business should plan to survive severe weather.

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