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How FMs can avoid mistakes when preparing for snow

Author : Jacqueline Francis, Marketing Manager, ISS

13 October 2015

Mother Nature is a difficult beast to understand. From the extreme winter of 2010-2011 when much of the country spent long periods with significant volumes of snow covering the ground, to the relatively mild winters we've had over the past couple of years, with little snowfall except on the higher areas of the country, there is no such thing as a normal winter

FMs tasked with keeping their property portfolios open, operational, safe and compliant need to ensure that robust plans are in place which adequately manage the UK’s variations in weather. Among other factors, proposals should identify the forecasting service to be utilised, the extent of the site to be serviced, priority routes to be tackled and designated areas to remove heavy snowfall to.

Forecasting services can offer many differing models which will assist Facility Managers with winter decision making. It is important when selecting a forecasting service that the operating model monitors road surface temperatures enabling you to confidently identify the right time to grit your premises.

While it hasn’t been an issue in the past couple of years, severe weather for a prolonged period can lead to salt shortages. FMs with an eye to early planning and liaison with suppliers can circumvent this potential pitfall and make certain that supplies are always available.

The biggest mistake made by FMs is to leave the planning and preparation until it is just too late - procedures must be prepared in advance of the extreme weather starting. Waiting until the weather forecast says ‘snow next week’ can cause your business severe operational, financial and reputational damage.

Engaging a specialist contractor can be a cost effective and efficient way to ensure you deliver what is in your site specific winter maintenance plan. It also makes sure that FMs can address their obligations, ensure that the service can be tailored to suit their individual needs and ensure that both their own staff and visitors to their facility will be safe throughout the winter period.

At ISS we have extensive experience in this sector, we understand the challenges that the UK winters can bring, and ensure that our clients experience the minimum disruption possible once the severe weather arrives.  Last year ISS was awarded the Met Office Gold Level Quality Mark for winter gritting, which guarantees that ISS has the most accurate and reliable forecast available to best tailor our service to meet client requirements, whilst remaining within their assigned budgets.

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