'Prepare for spring' – QBE North America to businesses

Tips and best practices shared

'Prepare for spring' – QBE North America to businesses


By Terry Gangcuangco

With the Farmer’s Almanac warning a “polar coaster spring,” QBE North America is stepping forward with advice and best practices aimed at helping businesses prepare for the potential weather-related challenges that lie ahead.

Ted Cabaniss, assistant vice president of field surveying at QBE North America, stressed the importance of businesses acknowledging the probable risks associated with an uncertainty-filled period.

“As we transition from the colder months into a notably unpredictable spring season, businesses need to recognize potential risks and strengthen their preparedness,” Cabaniss said. “Effective planning and preparedness are key to mitigating potential disruptions and accelerating recovery efforts in the face of adverse weather events.”

To combat the expected variability in weather, QBE North America is advocating for a comprehensive approach encompassing planning, inspection and maintenance, and cleaning.

Businesses are encouraged to ensure easy access to and familiarity with utility shut-off valves like water, gas, and sprinkler systems. It’s also recommended to reassess and refine business continuity plans, incorporating alternative suppliers to counteract possible disruptions. Additionally, regularly drilling emergency plans with all team members is advised.

On the maintenance front, businesses should commit to routine vehicle maintenance, checking brake systems, tire pressure, and oil levels, among others. It’s wise as well to evaluate and trim trees and landscaping to reduce the risk of structural damage and power supply interruptions.

Regular inspections of plumbing, pipes, and outdoor spaces are also crucial in preventing water leaks and other damages. Maintenance efforts should extend to electrical systems, including backup generators and exterior lighting.

In terms of cleanliness, removing clutter and debris from properties, safely disposing of unused flammable materials, and ensuring the proper storage of necessary chemicals are key steps. Clearing gutters and drains and performing roof inspections are also part of mitigation, as well as maintaining air quality and effective drainage.

In the unfortunate event of property damage, QBE advises quick and thorough actions to mitigate further loss. These include conducting a damage assessment as soon as it’s safe, inspecting fire safety systems for damage, documenting the damage extensively, and ensuring damaged equipment is cleaned and assessed by professionals.

Monique McQueen, vice president of property claims at QBE North America, commented: “Unforeseen losses can occur despite the best preparations. Check in with your insurer to review your insurance policy and discuss any operational, property, and/or workforce changes to ensure you have the right coverage.”

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