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Plowing Through the Frightful Weather Outside

by Amanda Cupp on August 5th, 2015

If snow is in your forecast, a snow removal policy is a must-have for your tool box. If you have a policy, compliance can still be a hassle, so maybe it’s time to revise it.

1. Publish and distribute your snow removal policy. Let your residents know what to expect when it snows. Spell out:

  • How you’ll determine when to remove snow.
  • What residents need to do: where to park, when to move cars, how you’ll inform them.
  • Your procedure for handling vehicles that must be moved so that plowing can happen. If you have a towing policy, include it. Also document your attempts to notify; it will pay off.
  • Check out your city’s snow removal policy. An Internet search will yield many policies that may be helpful when creating or fine tuning your own.

2. Timing is a big factor. The issue of snow removal can become a tug of war between Mother Nature and your budget. Contractor pricing and overtime can quickly eat up your funds. Therefore timing is important. The general rule of thumb is to wait for a minimum of 2 inches accumulation… unless snow is still coming down.

If your crystal ball looks like a snow globe, then you’ll want to tap into a reliable local weather report. Work closely with your maintenance supervisor throughout the day to evaluate conditions. And consider the temperature and time of day. Will the sun do the job and melt it off? Will your parking lots and walkways be accessible during peak traffic periods?

3. Snow and ice present liability issues, so keep a snow log with up-to-the-minute entries. Hopefully you won’t need to prove your efforts or explain your decisions. But if you do, you’ll be thankful to have accurate, credible documentation.

An Automated messaging service like One Call Now makes it fast and easy for property managers to keep residents in the loop during snow removal efforts. Create one message, send it only once and it’s delivered as voice or text to land lines, mobile phones, email and social media. Automated features save loads of staff time. Multiple delivery points for each resident make it convenient for them to stay informed.

Your policy and your efforts to keep your residents informed will go a long way towards getting their compliance and appreciation.