The Price of Winter Storms

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The Mid-Atlantic and Mid-Western United States was slammed by back-to-back snow storms this past week. National snow & ice management company, USM, talks about the impact on commercial property owners.

It's been the snowiest winter the Mid-Atlantic region has ever seen and snow removal crews have barely had time to rest from one storm to the next. Philadelphia has already recorded more than 71 inches of snow, breaking the previous 1995-96 record of 65.5 inches, and there may still be more on the way this coming week. And at over 55 inches of snow, Washington, DC has already seen over five times their ten-year snowfall average.

State and municipal snow plow crews have been working overtime to clear thousands of tons of snow from the roads so people can get back to their daily routines. Snow removal budgets have been depleted and we're only half way through the season forcing many governmental agencies to tap emergency funds or sources earmarked for other services such as landscaping and or capital projects. But what impact does all this snow have on businesses?

In addition to the lost revenue and lost productivity related to the recent storms, commercial property owners are struggling with significant budget overruns as well. USM estimates that the Nor'easter that hit the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West over February 5th and 6th cost retailers, restaurants, banks, grocery, pharmacies, and logistics companies over $500 million dollars. Compound that with the storm that hit February 9th and 10th, and businesses shelled out over $1 billion dollars in snow removal services alone.

The effects of this unprecedented season will be felt for a long time. "One of the lessons learned this season is that winter weather can pose a significant threat to business operations, especially with regard to supply chain management" said USM's Sean Hartnett, CSP. Going forward, commercial property owners will be looking for new and innovative ways to plan for and mitigate the potential risks of weather-related supply chain events.

USM delivers mission-critical, industrial services supply chain solutions (including snow management) to over 80,000 client sites throughout North America in various industries including retail, restaurants, banking, real estate investment trusts, education, telecommunications, and utilities.

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