Prepare for Cold Temperatures
Twelve CIRMA LAP pool members sustained severe damage of over $2 million from frozen pipes during Janurary 4-5th cold spell. Most damage from frozen pipes can be prevented by following the precautions listed below. More severe cold weather and heavy snow accumulation is forecast for tonight and tomorrow as well. CIRMA urges all of its members to prepare their buildings, vehicles, and emergency response equipment for these below freezing temperatures. Visit CIRMA's Winter Weather Precautions page for more information about preparing for cold weather emergencies.
Cold Temperatures, Power Outages & Weather Emergencies
Building and room thermostats should never be set lower than 55 degrees. Keep thermostats above 65 degrees when the weather may dip below 0 degrees or when the facility is to be unoccupied for a weekend or longer. Closed-in areas of your buildings that have poor air circulation are likely to be much colder than in the room itself, causing pipes located there to freeze. During a storm, consider holding '"Freeze Watches". Have a snow and ice removal plan for roadways, sidewalks, and roofs.
This storm may cause power outages from downed lines. All downed powerlines should be assumed to be live and the local utility company should be notified of their location. Sub zero temperatures combined with power outages may lead to damage from frozen waterpipes and significant property damage. Download Preventing Frozen Pipes, Preparing for Winter Storms, and for information for staff on these topics and information on what to do if your building pipes do freeze.
If you have generators, make sure they are rated properly for the job and good to go. While emergency generators may keep building temperatures adequate, their proper use is vital. Electricity from your generator can backfeed to power lines, killing or seriously injuring line crews who are working to repair the lines. A transfer switch stops backfeeding, and also makes using your generator much more convenient, allowing appliances to be operated much like when the power is turned on. Download guidelines for use of Generators and Portable Generators.
Prepare your Staff
Provide staff a list of emergency telephone numbers, including snow removal contact, heating system repair, utility company, the weather bureau, and the risk manager. Have cold weather gear on hand such as hats, gloves, emergency blankets, flashlights and batteries. Download Preventing Slips & Falls to learn how to reduce this wintertime hazard.
Heavy snow loads on roofs may also cause serious structural damage and personal injury. For additional information on what to do to protect your roof and building occupants, download Snow Loading, Preventing Roof Leaks, Preventing Water Damage, Preventing Flat Roof Leaks, and Risk Transfer Techniques for use in contracting snow removal and other types of services.
For assistance in implementing these recommendations, please contact your CIRMA Risk Management Consultant.
To report a property loss, please use any of the following phone numbers or fax numbers:
CIRMA Switchboard: 203-946-3700 Claims Fax: 203-773-8134
Cathy Gambrell, Liability-Auto-Property Claims Manager
Business: 203-946-3750 Cell: 203-605-3289 Fax: 203- 497-2422
Brenda Gillis, Sr. Property Claim Representative
Business: 203-946-3751 Emergency: 203-710-4479 Fax: 203-497-2424
All Workers' Compensation claims should be reported using 1-800-OK CIRMA or our online Workers' Comp reporting at NetClaims.net.
After the storm
Download Tree Removal-Brush; Chain Saws; Chippers; Refueling Equipment to review important safety information before clean-up operations. Our Storm Center Pages contain additional information on ways to prevent storm damage to buildings, equipment, and vehicles, to protect workers, and to conduct safe clean up and emergency operations.