Property Maintenance – Preparing Your Shopping Center for Winter Weather

Property Maintenance – Protecting Real Estate and People

property maintenance winter preparation - sweeping.comBefore winter comes, property maintenance professionals need to plan for protecting people and shopping center assets.

As important as having a plan is, making sure that everyone understands their role, and ensuring that there is a solid plan in place, is vital.

Property Maintenance – Preparations Before Winter

Identify team member roles. Who will be responsible for each of these areas?

1. Weather watcher – Identify one person who will monitor the weather to provide sufficient notice that inclement weather is approaching. Or, have everyone install a weather application on their phone.

2. Snow removal – Consider a snow removal contractor only after you reach an understanding of where your lot is on their priority list. If they have to prioritize snow removal for places like hospitals and schools, you may be waiting quite a while before your lots are cleared.

3. Asphalt/Pothole repair – Similar considerations need to be made when potholes appear after inclement weather.

4. Property safety Measures – Identify the property maintenance services team member responsible for safety. Who is responsible for making sure signage and cones are put out and that the sidewalks and floors are safe to walk on.

5. Emergency supplies –Maintain a checklist of emergency items that are kept in stock, year round. This includes food, water, flashlights, and batteries.

6. Snow melting materials – If you do not have a sufficient amount of snow melting material on-hand, order it before winter. Also, consider how long it will take to replenish that supply and assign someone to track usage. You do not want to run out when you need it most.

Property Maintenance – A Plan of Action When Winter Weather Hits

Most plans that fail do so because of poor planning and communication. A plan should be in place before winter. When the storm hits, is the time for effective communication to happen. Many organizations provide key personnel with phone lists in both electronic and laminated card form.

Everyone with a role in property maintenance services needs to be part of the notification list. The list is usually activated in a pyramid fashion. Managers notify their direct subordinates, who then notify their subordinates, and so on. If the team is small enough, only a couple of phone calls are necessary to communicate to everyone.

Effective communication may include taking the initiative to keep tenants informed on the progress of the storm and the aftermath. The weather event may be used as an opportunity to demonstrate good customer service.

Ned some additional research for your planning?  Have a look at our recent article, “Property Maintenance – This Is The Checklist You Ought To Use”

Property Maintenance Incident Escalation

Hopefully, the weather event will pass. Personnel will perform as expected, and all will be well. What happens if the weather caused significant damage, such as flooding, burst pipes, excessive ice coating or a roof collapse?

Again, pre-planning will reduce the impact of these types of events. Making sure that your key property maintenance employees and contractors have access to one another to communicate the need for immediate repairs is a must.

Property maintenance managers and owners cannot control the weather, but they do have a great deal of influence on how to react to it. Identifying who the right people for each role are, and communicating that to the team is a great start.

Coordinating expectations with outside contractors is also important. Keeping a cool head while keeping everyone focused on weathering the storm and its aftermath is the most important task of all.

It’s Never Too Late To Plan

If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and sketch out a winter weather property maintenance plan.  Or even better, give us a call at 732-881-1940.

We’ll be glad to share our expertise and help you get through the winter with professional property maintenance.

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