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Unveiling the Polar Coaster Spring: Vital Strategies for US Businesses Amid Weather Chaos

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Michael Chen

March 21, 2024 - 13:55 pm

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The Farmer's Almanac Warns of a Turbulent Spring Season for U.S. Businesses

NEW YORK, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- In a ground-breaking weather forecast, The Farmer's Almanac has cautioned the business community of a "Polar Coaster Spring". This term indicates a series of tumultuous weather variations expected to sweep across the United States. These erratic patterns are predicted to bring an extended period of cold spells, coupled with a gradual warming phase. In light of these predictions, QBE North America is proactively circulating best practices to help businesses better prepare for the potential challenges that lie ahead. Companies must brace for a spring that may oscillate between belated snowfalls and harsh weather events, necessitating readiness for an array of weather-induced risks.

Ted Cabaniss, the Assistant Vice President of Field Surveying at QBE North America, has emphasized the imperative for businesses to anticipate potential risks and bolster their contingency plans as we move from the deep freeze of winter into a remarkably unpredictable spring climate. He asserts that effective, proactive planning and comprehensive preparedness are indispensable in reducing potential interference and expediting the recovery process in the face of adverse weather conditions.

To secure operational continuity amid the unpredictable weather, QBE North America advises businesses to employ the following measures:

Reinforcing Business Continuity

  1. Ensure all utility shut-off valves are accessible and clearly marked. Businesses must familiarize themselves with the locations and operations of water, sprinkler, gas, and other shutdown systems.

  2. Reevaluate emergency plans frequently to update and adapt business continuity strategies, including incorporating alternative suppliers to hasten recovery from any disruptions.

  3. Establish a comprehensive emergency strategy and conduct regular drills with all employees to ensure everyone is familiar with the plan.

Maintenance and Inspection Guidelines

  1. Commit to a thorough maintenance schedule for company vehicles. This encompasses checks on brake systems, windshield wipers, tire pressure, and oil levels and filters.

  2. Conduct an assessment of landscaping and trim any foliage that may threaten the integrity of structures or the power supply.

  3. Regularly inspect plumbing and piping to prevent leaks by identifying and addressing any signs of wear or damage.

  4. Examine and repair any damages found on walkways, ramps, and other exterior areas to ensure safety and accessibility.

  5. Perform routine upkeep on electrical systems, including the testing and servicing of backup generators and exterior lighting.

  6. For sites with recreational facilities, ensure that all equipment is operational and safe for use.

  7. Verify that sump pumps and other water extraction systems are functioning effectively.

  8. Administer a comprehensive examination of fire safety and security systems to guarantee they are in proper working order.

Essential Cleaning Tasks

  1. Dispose of clutter and waste inside and surrounding the property to prevent hazards and maintain cleanliness.

  2. Safely rid the premises of unused flammable materials and confirm that any chemicals retained are stored correctly.

  3. Keep roof drainage clear by cleaning gutters, grates, and surface drains, and undertake roof inspections ensuring that HVAC condensate lines are free of blockages.

  4. Address any landscaping that may have suffered erosion to continue effective drainage around the property.

  5. Sustain indoor air quality by routinely cleaning or replacing HVAC filters and having systems inspected by professionals.

  6. Organize and properly stow away winter equipment and securely store any flammable substances.

In the aftermath of property damage, swift and resourceful actions could be imperative for businesses to tackle the issues promptly and to guard against additional damage. QBE North America provides these guidelines for a swift response should a disaster strike:

Post-Damage Response Recommendations

  1. Carry out an immediate assessment of damage once the area has been deemed safe to enter.

  2. Inspect all components of fire safety systems, such as sprinklers and fire extinguishers, for any signs of damage.

  3. Document the scope of the damage with photos or videos, and preserve any compromised parts or equipment for inspection, ahead of any cleanup, restoration, or repairs.

  4. Clean and dry damaged equipment thoroughly and have a professional evaluate its electrical integrity.

  5. Ensure that a certified technician inspects and services the heating and cooling systems before reactivation.

  6. Use portable or emergency generators cautiously, preventing placement near air intakes and monitoring for hazards like carbon monoxide build-up and power backfeeds.

"Despite the most thorough preparation, unexpected losses can still transpire," explained Monique McQueen, Vice President of Property Claims at QBE North America. She advises businesses to consult their insurer to review their current policy and to discuss operational, property, or workforce adjustments to ensure adequate coverage is in place.

QBE North America's Risk Solutions team is renowned for identifying risks and delivering comprehensive loss prevention strategies, along with cutting-edge loss protection tools and services. By immersing themselves in their clients' business operations, concerns, and priorities, they deliver tailored solutions aimed at minimizing potential losses and business risk. Customers seeking consultation or answers to queries can reach out to QBE's Risk Solutions department by calling (888) 560-2635 or by emailing [email protected].

About QBE North America

QBE North America represents a dynamic force in the global insurance arena, dedicated to resolving unique risk challenges and allowing customers to focus on their future. As part of the QBE Insurance Group Limited, the North America division generated Gross Written Premiums of $7.6 billion in 2023. QBE Insurance Group’s financial outcomes can be explored at qbe.com. Hailing from Sydney, Australia, QBE operates across 27 countries globally, maintaining a significant presence in all major insurance markets. With headquarters situated in New York, the North America division conducts its operations through its subsidiary insurance companies.

No information or suggestion presented comes with any guarantee of accuracy, and QBE North America disclaims any liability that may arise from the use or non-use of such information; this does not promise the inclusion of all possible risks or atypical circumstances that may occur. Following the information, suggestions, or recommendations herein is not an assurance of fulfilling obligations under your insurance policy or as mandated by law, rules, or regulations. QBE and the links logo are trademarks of QBE Insurance Group Limited.

SOURCE QBE North America

For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information regarding QBE North America and its various risk solution offerings, additional details can be found at qbe.com/us, or by following QBE North America on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.