Insurance Leader McNeil & Company Issues Tips for Businesses to Protect Against Dangers Associated with Spring Thaw

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A Leader in Specialized Insurance, McNeil & Company Advises Businesses to Take Extra Precautions as Temperatures Warm

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Watch the weather and pay attention for warmer days with rain and southern winds. Listen for flood warnings and watches, and have a plan in place in order to exit an area quickly if needed

As the record-breaking winter of 2015 comes to an end, McNeil & Company, a nationwide leader in specialized insurance programs, has issued important tips to protect businesses against the dangers that can arise as temperatures warm and snow begins to melt.

“This winter, record snowfall and cold temperatures have plagued much of the country, but the coming spring could bring its own set of challenges. Depending on how quickly things warm up, how much rain falls and how fast things melt, our troubles could get much worse before they get better,” said David Denniston, Director of Risk Management at McNeil & Company. “The next few weeks will likely bring major challenges for a good share of the country. Be prepared, stay alert and keep informed. How you prepare for and react to the coming changes could mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and major recovery.”

Risk factors associated with spring thaw and McNeil & Company’s recommendations for protecting against them include:

  •     Snow in piles. Warming temperatures and rainfall will cause added moisture to be soaked up in snow, making it extremely heavy. Special attention should be given to areas where snow is piled. Decks, porch roofs, sunrooms, screen enclosures and older roofs are all at risk of collapsing under the weight of snow piles. Business owners should take notice of sagging structures, split supports and loud cracking noises, and people should leave an area immediately if any of these signs appear.
  •     Run-off water. As snow piles melt, the water must have a place to go. Unusually cold temperatures may have frozen many drain pipes, which will make them unable to take the water. Snow drifts are also blocking normal waterways, and ice jams could worsen conditions. The current depth of the frost and frozen ground will cause additional problems, as it will be unable to absorb water, increasing the amount of run off. Business owners should carefully survey property to ensure water has a place to go.
  •     Frozen pipes. Freezing water generates over 2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure – a force that can burst most pipes. Because of this winter’s record-setting low temperatures, many places throughout the country will experience frozen pipes, including many who have never been at risk before. As frozen pipes thaw, water will begin to spray through cracks and splits. Business owners should watch for drips or unusually wet areas. Listen for running, dripping or moving water. Locate your water shut-offs and test them to ensure they work so you will be prepared to do so quickly in an emergency.
  •     Flooding. Melting snow piles, frozen pipes and additional run-off water will lead to an increased risk of flooding. Test sump pumps and be sure their discharge is not frozen or under the snow. Check the intake to make sure it is clean and that the unit has power. Take the time now to move items, such as important papers and pictures, to higher ground or shelves and unplug any unneeded electric sources.

“Watch the weather and pay attention for warmer days with rain and southern winds. Listen for flood warnings and watches, and have a plan in place in order to exit an area quickly if needed,” Denniston added. “Areas that have never flooded before may see quickly rising waters due to this year’s extreme weather. Never wade or drive through moving water. The current is much stronger than it looks.”

About McNeil & Company
McNeil & Company is a nationwide leader in specialized insurance programs, drawing on deep industry expertise to develop and deliver policies and risk management services that meet the unique needs of clients. McNeil & Company offers the best possible specialized coverage, along with a full array of risk management services, to help customers maximize preparedness and grow their businesses. Established in 1989 to answer a need for more comprehensive, tailored policies in the emergency services market, McNeil & Company has developed and expanded a model for specialty insurance programs based in genuine industry knowledge and a consultative approach to loss control and risk management. Acclaimed products include AdvenSure, ASIP, Car Wash, ESIP (and Benefits), FireWatch, HOMed (O&P Plus), WildPRO and the Bar & Tavern Program.

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Brittnie Mabry