Nine Precautions to Take to Keep Your Building Safe During a Flooding/Flash-Freezing Event

There’s an old saying that goes, “If you don’t like the weather now, just wait a few minutes.”

If you’re from New England, you’re likely to accept this claim as truth. Who among us has left the house in the morning donning a winter coat, only to return in a t-shirt? Temperature fluctuations are nothing new, but when there is a foot of snow involved, the situation becomes a bit more dire.

Last week’s snowfall is melting at an alarming rate due to unseasonably warm temperatures (today’s high being 57°F!), which will cause flooding in many areas.  Today and this evening, we are expecting rain.  Tomorrow, the temperature will drop significantly, causing flash freezing and increasing the risks of structure damage or personal injury.

As building and facility managers, there are a few precautions we can take to remain diligent during this flooding/freezing event:

  • Test any water monitoring or water-level alarms for operation
  • Test and check sump pumps for reliable operation
  • Verify sump pumps, sensors, and controls are on emergency power
  • Verify emergency generator start up and transfer switch operation
  • Verify building dewatering discharge pipes and generator exhaust are clear of snow and other obstacles and debris
  • Clear out all roof drains and verify their operation
  • Remove and/or treat walkways and parking lots to reduce tripping hazards
  • Clear parking lot drains of snow and ice before temperature drops below freezing
  • Remind building occupants of flooding and freezing safety hazards and how to avoid them

In case of emergency, please call:

Rhode Island:  1-866-GO-ARDEN

Connecticut:  1-800-992-3603

Massachusetts:  978-851-8900