Archive for the ‘Winter Storm’ Category

Erratic Weather

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
Struggling to Bloom

Struggling to Bloom

The old adage about New England is that if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes and it will change. That observation applied to most of the Northeast yesterday and today as conditions changed from snow to sunshine to darkening clouds and back again. We were treated to the incongruous appearance of spring bulbs flowering through the snow. Weather patterns appear to becoming more erratic: we have seen tornadoes in Brooklyn and snowstorms in Atlanta. Our business continuity plans have to be ready for any type of weather in any season in any region.

This photograph perfectly captures the theme of erratic weather and the challenges of preparing our businesses for any contingency. I was in Boston for meetings today and passed by this small public garden. The image of the daffodils struggling to rise above the snow caught my attention – a great image for what our businesses must do to thrive.

Winter Storm Jonas

Sunday, January 24th, 2016
This Weekend in New York

This Weekend in New York

Winter Storm Jonas covered the Northeast corridor with more than two feet of snow from Washington, D.C. through southern New England . The storm hit New York City on January 22 and continued through January 24. Heavy snow also impacted other parts of the country, with fourteen states receiving at least a foot of snow this past weekend. The highest recorded snowfall occurred in parts of West Virginia, with accumulations of more than 42 inches. For several locations on the East Coast, Winter Storm Jonas is the largest snowstorm on record.

Snowstorms represent a greater hazard to communities unprepared or unaccustomed to dealing with them. When I lived in Switzerland, a major snowfall was not a significant event. In New York City, the day after the snowfall, you wade through the melted slush as many areas lack proper drainage. Driving is hazardous, particularly in traditionally warmer climates. Do you remember the commotion that resulted not too long ago when Atlanta was struck by a snowstorm? If you or your employees drive in connection with your work commute or your work responsibilities (such as making deliveries), be sure employees understand safe driving practices in winter weather.

Allow extra time to arrive at your destination so you may drive more slowly and safely. Be sure that the gas tank of your vehicle is at least half full, as you may need to run the engine just to stay warm should you be delayed. Confirm that each of your company vehicles (or personal automobiles if employees use their own cars for work or commuting purposes) have emergency kits including a snow brush, flashlight (check the batteries), blanket, extra washer fluid, etc. Make sure your cell phone battery is fully charged should you need to call for help. Remember that tire pressure drops in very cold weather; verify that the tire pressure is adequate for safe handling of the vehicle.  Have your vehicle serviced by a qualified mechanic or technician to make sure that the car is safe to drive and all of the fluids (such as the windshield washer fluid) are topped up. And if you can avoid driving in the snowstorm, do so, work from home if possible.

Arctic Chill in the Northeast Today!

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
Special Needs in the Winter

Special Needs in the Winter

Last week, operators of New England’s ski resorts were devising creative ways to draw in customers during unusually balmy weather. Mountains lacking snow were transformed into fun trails for kids to descend by large rolling tires; it isn’t skiing, but it brings in some revenue. Today, it feels like winter is finally here with the National Weather Service warning of bitter cold wind chills of 15 below zero. If you are in the area, and you must go outdoors even for a short time, be sure to dress in layers of loose fitting clothing.

And give some thought to the special needs of the animals in your care at this time. If you have a pet-friendly office, as I do, consider that the paws of cats and dogs are sensitive to the salt used on snowy roads. I protect Coco’s paws with a thin layer of petroleum jelly before taking her for short walks in the snow season; Henry doesn’t seem to be sensitive at all. I also make sure to frequently replace the bird fountain with water before it can freeze over, so the birds have something to drink. I also leave suet for them as it may be more difficult for them to find food. They don’t all migrate to the south at this time of year.

It seems a bit jarring to go from one weather extreme to the other. Last weekend, people in my neighborhood were wearing shorts and T-shirts. Today, everyone has wool coats, hats and mittens. It seems volatile weather patterns are becoming the “new normal”.