As we are all enjoying the colors of autumn, we must remind ourselves that winter is approaching. One aspect of the winter season is the chance of snowfall in Middle Tennessee. We have already had 1 small snow event this year! Snow is typically exciting but can also bring anxiety if your community or property is not well prepared. Here are some helpful tips:
1.) Plan in Advance: The sooner you prepare an action plan, the better. Late summer or early Fall planning is not too early, but rather beneficial. Pricing can be negotiated easier ahead of time, as opposed to when snow is predicted. Plus, your service provider will have ample time to prepare and stock materials & equipment.
2.) Select a competent service provider… a company with enough snow equipment, knowledge & experience in providing snow services, updated and adequate insurance, and trained personnel.
3.) Have a written contract in place which includes liability language, pricing, and scope of work. Having a contract in place, rather than a verbal agreement, solidifies your expectations and may outline liability details.
4.) Develop a site map which highlights the areas of your community you want to be serviced, and share such with your service provider, so that there is no confusion. The map should convey any specific priority areas, and areas that are not to be serviced.
5.) Stay in communication with your service provider when a snow event is predicted. Communication is key to a successful snow season, because every event brings its own challenges.
6.) Meet with your service provider on site before the snow season begins, to walk the community while discussing pet peeves, safety concerns, obstacles to avoid, etc… A phone call is not usually adequate for this type of service request.
7.) Budget your expenses for several snow events. The average snowfall accumulation for Middle TN is about 7 inches per year, which averages 3-4 events. Each of those type of accumulating events will require some level of service to keep your site tidy and safe. In addition, this area of the country gets multiple ice only events, which should be budgeted for as well. Snow & Ice service is expensive. Your property manager or service provider should be able to help with the budgeting process.
8.) Unfortunately in today’s litigious society, lawsuits from slip & fall events are more common now than ever. As a result, it is critical that you protect your community by preparing for such snow events in every way possible, so that you are not held liable for negligence. Your property manager and competent service providers can help you through the planning process.
Early and proper planning will allow you to enjoy the beauty of winter without the concerns associated with keeping your community safe from old man winter!
Scott Oldham - Business Development Manager with LSI. www.LandscapeServicesInc.com